The Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) has received more than 12,000 complaints over the article
The Sun newspaper has pulled a column by Jeremy Clarkson about the Duchess of Sussex from its website after a barrage of complaints.
The former Top Gear presenter issued an apology after facing a backlash over comments he made about Meghan Markle in his newspaper column.
He wrote on Twitter: "Oh dear. I've rather put my foot in it. In a column I wrote about Meghan, I made a clumsy reference to a scene in Game Of Thrones and this has gone down badly with a great many people. I'm horrified to have caused so much hurt and I shall be more careful in future."
The article, which attracted criticism from high-profile figures and his own daughter, was removed from The Sun’s website on Monday afternoon at Clarkson’s request.
A statement on The Sun’s website said: “In light of Jeremy Clarkson’s tweet he has asked us to take last week’s column down.”
The Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) has received more than 12,000 complaints over the article written by Clarkson about the Duchess of Sussex.
The number is almost the same as the number of complaints the media regulator received in all of 2021, a spokesman confirmed.
It comes as Clarkson faces a backlash over the article, written in The Sun, from high-profile figures including Nicola Sturgeon, Carol Vorderman, Philip Pullman and London Mayor Sadiq Khan, as well as from his own daughter.
In the piece, Clarkson wrote that he "hated" Meghan and dreamed of her being paraded through British towns and publicly shamed, adding that "everyone who's my age thinks the same way".
It follows the recent broadcast of Harry and Meghan's explosive six-part Netflix documentary, in which the couple made allegations of mistreatment by the royal family.
A spokesperson for Ipso said that the regulator had received over 6,000 complaints about Clarkson's article as of midday on Monday, and that the number was subject to change.
He added that the complaints were were being assessed in accordance with its standard procedure.
Ipso received a total of 14,355 complaints in 2021, the spokesman added.
Speaking to broadcasters on Monday, Ms Sturgeon said Clarkson's comments about the duchess were "beyond the pale".
"I think what he said about Meghan Markle was deeply misogynist and just downright awful and horrible," she said.
"I have to say, taking a step back from it, my overwhelming emotion about guys like Jeremy Clarkson is pity.
"I mean, what is it that makes somebody so distorted by hate that they end up writing these things?
"I think that possibly gives an insight into Jeremy Clarkson and the kind of person he is.
"So maybe he just needs to take a step back from things and just think about life a bit more."
Clarkson's daughter, Emily Clarkson, said in an online post that she is "against everything that my dad wrote".
"My views are and have always been clear when it comes to misogyny, bullying and the treatment of women by the media," she said, in a statement shared on her Instagram story.
"I want to make it very clear that I stand against everything that my dad wrote about Meghan Markle and I remain standing in support of those that are targeted with online hatred."
Former Countdown host Vorderman said Clarkson's comments were unacceptable "in any circumstance".
"NO Jeremy Clarkson. Not on any level, in any circumstance, is it ok to write this stuff about any woman & absolutely NO to 'everyone who's my age thinks the same'.
"No no no. We absolutely do NOT think the same. Listen to the noise Jeremy. The crowds are chanting 'shame on YOU'."
Mr Khan said Clarkson's remarks were "dangerous and inexcusable", writing: "As Jeremy Clarkson should well know - words have consequences.
"The words in his piece are no joke - they're dangerous and inexcusable.
"We are in an epidemic of violence against women and girls and men with powerful voices must do better than this."
Sir Philip, author of His Dark Materials, described Clarkson as "a brief loud noise and a brief bad smell", but criticised Rupert Murdoch - owner of News UK, the organisation that publishes The Sun.
As well as Top Gear, Clarkson, 62, is known for his Amazon motoring show, The Grand Tour, which he presents alongside Richard Hammond and James May, as well as ITV's Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
Amazon, ITV and The Sun have all been approached for comment.
Harry and Meghan's Archewell foundation has also been approached for comment over the remarks.