ITV has instructed a barrister to carry out an "external review" of the information and facts relating to former This Morning presenter Phillip Schofield, after his exit from the show, chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall has said.

It comes after Schofield recently admitted to having an affair with a “younger male colleague” while he was working on This Morning but said the relationship was “unwise but not illegal”.

The broadcaster released a previous statement saying that it investigated the "relationship rumours" when they first began circulating in 2020 but it didn’t find “any evidence of a relationship beyond hearsay and rumour” and both parties denied it.

In a letter seen by PA news agency, written by Dame Carolyn to the Culture Secretary, DCMS Committee chairwoman Dame Caroline Dinenage and Ofcom chief executive Dame Melanie Dawes, it also referred to wider stories about This Morning, including allegations of a “toxic culture” by Dr Ranj, a former presenter on the show, saying: “We were sorry to read his statement.

“We are fully committed to providing every opportunity for anyone who works with us to raise any concern or comments they may have. Following a complaint made by Dr Ranj, we appointed an external and independent advisor to carry out a review. This external review found no evidence of bullying or discrimination.

“I want to reassure you that as a producer and broadcaster, ITV takes its responsibilities around duty of care and speaking up seriously and has robust and well-established processes in place which allow anyone who works with us to raise concerns they may have anonymously.

“The confidential reporting number and other ways of raising concerns are promoted via a number of channels, which includes ITV’s internal staff website, across ITV buildings and how to speak up is part of ITV’s code of ethics & conduct annual mandatory training for all staff.

“We have now instructed Jane Mulcahy KC (Blackstone Chambers) to carry out an external review to establish the facts. She will review our records and talk to people involved. This work will also consider our relevant processes and policies and whether we need to change or strengthen any.

“Given Phillip’s admission of the extent of his deception the work will extend to cover any related issues that may emerge. This work will be carried out as quickly as possible and we will be happy to share the outcome.”

ITV chief executive outlines facts after Phillip Schofield admitted affair

The letter also outlined some facts after Schofield’s full apology was published by the Daily Mail and said the employee Schofield admitted to an affair with has been offered support throughout.

Dame Carolyn said: “The ITV employee was aged 19 when he first did work experience at This Morning in 2015 and 20 years old when he applied and succeeded in securing a job as a runner on the show. He subsequently applied for and was successful in securing a promotion to Loose Women in 2019. He left ITV in 2021.

“As you would imagine given the social media scrutiny of him, we have offered him our support throughout this period and indeed are still doing so. The employee has made it clear that he does not wish to be named or identified in connection with this matter. We would be grateful if you would be mindful of this.

“The relationships we have with those we work with are based on trust. Phillip made assurances to us and his agency which he now acknowledges were untrue and we feel badly let down.

“We consider our approach was reasonable and proportionate at the time and in the circumstances. We believe that we did not have any grounds to mount any other sort of investigation.”