Channel 4 star Ant Middleton has reportedly been forced to quit his role as the Royal Navy’s Chief Cadet after just nine months, after his controversial ‘scum’ tweet about Black Lives Matter protesters.
The TV tough guy, who took on the role in November, is said to have left his bosses furious after posting the since-deleted tweet, amid protests over racial injustice after the death of George Floyd in the US.
Navy chiefs were also said to be furious about the star’s online rant about Government advice to tackle the coronavirus pandemic in March. Middleton later apologised for his comments.
The 39-year-old was given the option to quit or be sacked by admiralty bosses exasperated with his controversial behaviour.
A source told The Sun: ‘He never thought he’d be given such a difficult choice. But he has decided to take matters into his own hands and step down. He’s gutted.’
Quit: Channel 4 star Ant Middleton has quit as the Royal Navy’s Chief Cadet after just nine months, after his controversial ‘scum’ tweet about Black Lives Matter protesters
In November last year, the TV star and author announced he was honoured to take up the Chief Cadet role to help mentor cadets and raise the profile of the Volunteer Cadet Corps (VCC).
Middleton has since joined cadets on challenging military exercises, such as leading Plymouth Royal Marines cadets for a three mile trek in Cornwall in January.
Posting on Twitter at the time, he said: ‘Strange to be officially back in uniform but ‘right’ to give back to an organisation that has shaped me.’
It became clear to forces chiefs that his social media outbursts mean he is not the right person to lead the organisation’s 650 boys and girls.
A Ministry of Defence spokesman told MailOnline: ‘The Ministry of Defence is not prepared to comment as this is a private matter.’
Amid the nationwide protests, some of which were usurped by rioters, Middleton took to Twitter in June, opining: ‘The extreme left against the extreme right.
‘When did two wrongs make a right. It was only a matter of time. BLM and EDL are not welcome on our streets, absolute scum. What a great example you are to your future generation. Bravo.’
Backlash: Following backlash over his tweet, he said, ‘I did not mean to say that BLM are scum, or to imply that BLM and the EDL are equivalent’
He quickly took down the tweet, following backlash on social media, and later told : ‘On Saturday night, I made comments about the violence breaking out across our streets.
‘While I remain dismayed at these actions, I am horrified to realise that my wording could be misconstrued. I did not mean to say that BLM are scum, or to imply that BLM and the EDL are equivalent.
‘I was trying to make a comment about violent protesters of any kind who I despise. I accept that my tweet was inappropriate and offensive and would like to apologise unconditionally. I am anti-racist, anti-hate and anti-violence.
‘I believe in the right to protest, but change must come about through peaceful and legal means.’
The star also caused uproar in March in the midst of the pandemic after he took to Instagram to announce that he was continuing on with life as usual during the outbreak and ended his video recording with the terse statement: ‘F**k COVID-19.’
The TV personality said: ‘Am I still out travelling the world? Yes. Am I still shaking hands? Yes. Am I still cuddling fans at the airport? Yes. Am I washing my hands and keeping my hygiene to a high standard as always? Yes.
‘Has my life changed? No. Am I going to let some disease, COVID-19, dictate my life? Absolutely not. Get out there, don’t change, F**k COVID-19!’
Captioning his clip, Ant said that fans should thank him if they end up contracting the virus from him, because it will ultimately make them stronger.
Middleton later apologised. He said: ‘And now I’ve come out of this bubble I’ve realised I’ve probably been a bit insensitive towards the magnitude, the scale, of the crisis that’s happening in the UK.’
MailOnline has contacted representatives for Ant Middleton for comment.
The news comes after it was revealed that Middleton had been given the boot by Soccer Aid 2020 amid fears that his involvement would offend other players.
Boot: The news comes after it was revealed that Ant had been given the boot by Soccer Aid 2020 amid fears that his involvement would offend other players
The popular televised charity football match, which has raised £38 million for children’s charity Unicef since being founded by singer Robbie Williams in 2006, is due to be broadcast live month.
Among those expected to play in the England vs Soccer Aid World XI match are Usain Bolt and former Manchester United ace Patrick Evra.
It is unclear whether organisers kicked out Middleton at the request of other players or to protect the image of the match, which attracts significant corporate sponsorship and support from the Government.
Middleton was a second-half substitute in last year’s fixture and had been expected to start the match at Old Trafford this year. He has also been promoting the fixture, appearing in ads wearing his England kit.