Two charities have said they will stand by their patron Alastair Stewart after the veteran newsreader stepped down from ITV News for what the company described as “errors of judgement” on social media.
The animal and development charity Brooke and the children’s hospice Naomi House & Jacksplace both said they would not be asking Stewart to stand down as a patron after he used a quote from Shakespeare that included the words "angry ape" in a spat on Twitter with a black user.
ITN, the company behind ITV News, said Stewart had breached the company’s editorial guidelines and he was leaving his role because of "errors of judgement in Alastair's use of social media".
Several news outlets have reported that his departure came after a Twitter spat.
In a statement, Stewart said the incident “was a misjudgement which I regret".
Stewart has represented Naomi House & Jacksplace since 2014, and in 2016 was handed Third Sector’s Charity Celebrity Charity award in 2016 for his work with the charity.
Mark Smith, chief executive of Naomi House & Jacksplace, said: “As Alastair himself states, he might have made an error of judgement.
“Suffice to say, the Alastair we know is kind, compassionate and generous to a fault, and we remain indebted to him for all he has done for our charity over many years of tireless service.
“Alastair has been a hugely positive force for good here at Naomi House & Jacksplace and remains a patron of this charity.”
A spokeswoman for Brooke said the charity also had no plans to ask Stewart to stand down as a patron.
Stewart was a patron of the disability charity Scope but stepped down a number of years ago, a Scope spokeswoman said.