Comments made by Piers Morgan about the Duchess of Sussex’s interview with Oprah Winfrey were “wholly unacceptable”, the Welsh health minister has said.
Morgan left his role as a presenter on ITV’s Good Morning Britain show following a backlash against his comments about Meghan and the interview.
Health minister Vaughan Gething was asked about Morgan’s comments during the Welsh Government’s coronavirus press conference in Cardiff on Wednesday afternoon.
He said: “I thought Piers Morgan’s comments about not believing what Meghan Markle had to say about her mental health was wholly unacceptable, incredibly unkind and exactly where we should not be in public debate and discourse.
“We’ve won lots of ground by talking and being more open about mental health challenges, not just in Wales but across the UK.”
Mr Gething highlighted the Time to Change Wales programme, which aims to end mental health stigma and discrimination across the country.
He said: “I think the comments and the tone of them I think would have set a number of people back and that highly judgmental approach is really unhealthy and unhelpful.”
The minister described how people across Wales have experienced “real challenges” with their mental health, some for the first time, during the coronavirus lockdown.
“For him to deny without any knowledge or understanding really of what was happening in that family relationship, and to say that he didn’t believe her in particular about the suicidal thoughts she said she’d had, I thought that was damaging and unacceptable,” he added.
“Mind and a range of other people called him out too. I’m pleased that ITV reiterated the campaign they’ve been running about getting Britain talking is something they are committed to.
“I obviously wish Piers Morgan well in the rest of his life wherever it takes him. I hope that we can all learn something from this about how we behave and use the platforms of influence and power that we each have.”
On Wednesday, Morgan said he stands by his comments about Meghan.
He told reporters he “does not believe” Meghan’s revelation that she had suicidal thoughts, describing the interview with Winfrey as a “diatribe of bilge”.
The PA news agency understands the Duchess of Sussex formally complained to ITV about Morgan before he announced he was leaving the programme.
PA understands the duchess’s concern was not about the personal attacks on the validity of her racism allegation against the royal family, or her claims that she was not supported by the institution when experiencing suicidal thoughts, but how Morgan’s comments may affect the issue of mental health generally and those attempting to deal with their own problems.
ITV said is it not commenting on reports regarding Meghan’s complaint.