ITV has issued a statement after Ofcom found Good Morning Britain was not in breach of the broadcasting code over Piers Morgan’s controversial comments about Meghan Markle.

Piers Morgan stepped down from his role at Good Morning Britain following the wave of complaints

The decisions was made as Ofcom launched an investigation into comments made by Good Morning Britain host Piers flowing Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Oprah interview.

The controversial presenter made dismissive comments during the show about Meghan’s claims to have had issues with her mental health.

The regulator said Morgan’s comments were “potentially harmful and offensive” but said it also “took full account of freedom of expression”.

ITV issue statement following Ofcom decision

ITV welcomed Ofcom’s ruling that Good Morning Britain was not in breach of the broadcasting code.

The broadcaster said in a statement: “We welcome the Ofcom ruling that Good Morning Britain did not breach the broadcast standards relating to harm and offence.

“The ruling sets out clearly that it was the balance and context the programme makers provided which was key in mitigating against the potential for harm and offence which could have been caused by Piers Morgan’s comments.

“It is because of the programme’s editorial decisions and the opposing views which were forcefully expressed by other presenters and guests that the programme did not breach Ofcom’s rules.”

Piers Morgan hits back at ITV

The response from the broadcaster angered Piers Morgan who suggested his former employer read Ofcom’s statement again.

In a tweet to his 7.9 million followers: “Hmmm, ITV have just put out a statement saying I only won the @Ofcom case against Princess Pinocchio because my colleagues expressed different opinions to mine. That’s not what the @Ofcom report says in its conclusion. I suggest ITV reads it again.”

Ofcom statement in full

A statement from Ofcom said: “This was a finely-balanced decision. Mr Morgan’s comments were potentially harmful and offensive to viewers, and we recognise the strong public reaction to them.

“But we also took full account of freedom of expression. Under our rules, broadcasters can include controversial opinions as part of legitimate debate in the public interest, and the strong challenge to Mr Morgan from other contributors provided important context for viewers.

“Nonetheless, we’ve reminded ITV to take greater care around content discussing mental health and suicide in future. ITV might consider the use of timely warnings or signposting of support services to ensure viewers are properly protected.”

In summary they said: “This programme focused on the interview between Oprah Winfrey and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

“It contained statements about suicide and mental health which had the potential to be harmful and highly offensive.

“However, our decision is that overall the programme contained sufficient challenge to provide adequate protection and context to its viewers. We also considered that the comments about race in the programme could have been potentially highly offensive, but that the comments were sufficiently contextualised. Therefore, our decision is that the programme did not breach the Ofcom Broadcasting Code.”