Channel 4 news anchor Krishnan Guru-Murthy has apologised “unreservedly” to Northern Ireland minister Steve Baker for calling him a “c***” in what he called an “unguarded moment”.
The broadcaster said the remark followed a “robust interview” with Mr Baker but it was “beneath the standards I set myself”.
During an off-air moment after his interview with Mr Baker, Mr Guru-Murthy was heard on a livestream saying “what a c***”.
He later tweeted: “After a robust interview with Steve Baker MP I used a very offensive word in an unguarded moment off air.
“While it was not broadcast that word in any context is beneath the standards I set myself and I apologise unreservedly.
“I have reached out to Steve Baker to say sorry.”
Mr Baker later replied to the tweet accepting the apology. “I appreciate you apologising. Thank You,” he wrote.
But, later, Mr Baker told John Pienaar on Times Radio that he hopes Channel 4 sacks the journalist.
Mr Baker said: “I had an interview earlier with a journalist I don’t have a great deal of regard for, who I felt always misrepresenting the situation through the construction of his question, which I called out, I think live on air, or I thought it was a pre-record.
“And he clearly didn’t like that, quite right, too. But I’d be quite honest, I spent a long time live on air, calling him out on his contact as a journalist and glad to do so any time.
“But it’s most unfortunate that he has sworn on air like that. If it’s in breach of his code of conduct, I do hope they sack him – it would be a service to the public.”
The exchange between the pair came at the end of another tumultuous day in Westminster.
Suella Braverman resigned as home secretary, chief whip Wendy Morton and her deputy Craig Whittaker reportedly threatened to quit, and MPs reported scenes of chaos during a House of Commons vote on fracking.
Two ministers – business secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg and health secretary Therese Coffey – have been accused by a number of MPs of having physically “manhandled” and “bullied” a Tory MP into voting against Labour’s proposals to reinstate a ban on fracking.
Mr Rees-Mogg insisted he had seen no evidence of anyone being manhandled and there had simply been a “normal” discussion among MPs as they prepared to vote. And Ms Coffey denied manhandling anyone.
Mr Rees-Mogg told Sky News: “I think to characterise it as bullying is mistaken.”
Labour’s motion was defeated by 230 votes to 326 – a majority of 96.