Social Media Comments Result In Alastair Stewart’s Resignation

30 January 2020

Alastair Stewart, the ITV News presenter has announced this week his resignation from ITV following a "…misjudgement which [he] regret[s]…" as he said in his statement. Many are disappointed to see the presenter leave, as he had joined ITV in 1980 and has fronted the News at Ten since 1989.

The unfortunate resignation comes after some poorly worded tweets made by Mr Stewart have been picked up on as part of a very public disagreement between Mr Stewart and Martin Shapland where Mr Stewart, quoted a passage from Shakespeare's Measure for Measure including a reference to an "angry ape" when referring to a black man.

ITN, who are the company that produce the news for ITV, confirmed in a statement that Mr Stewart had 'breached editorial guidelines' but have not elaborated anymore on that.

Social Media Policies

Whilst Mr Stewart chose to resign and was not actually dismissed, there is nothing to say whether he would have been or not, in the circumstances. This shows that Social Media policies are important for employers and employees alike. Whilst most of us will not be caught out in headlines like Mr Stewart may have been, employers still look at social media and making offensive comments on a personal social media account could bring an employer into disrepute.

We Can Help

Our team are here to help employees understand their obligations and assist those who have been caught out in a blunder, or perhaps assist employers outline an appropriate policy for social media usage to ensure that employees have clear guidelines within which to act in order to avoid any issues at work.

Contact one of our employment team on 01245 228141 or via e-mail.

This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.