Minister warns about ‘jumping to conclusions’ in wake of Caroline Flack death

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said urged people calling Love Island to be cancelled in the wake of ex-host Caroline Flack's death not to "jump to conclusions".

Sky News' Sophy Ridge asked the Transport Secretary if Love Island should continue after four deaths that have been linked to it.

Mr Shapps said: "Clearly people making these programmes do have a duty of care, not just to contestants but to presenters as well."But I don't want to jump to conclusions. "We know there were circumstances involved here."

MPs on the Parliament's Digital, Media and Sport select committee have previously examined if reality TV producers were behaving responsibly when it came to their duty of care to participants.

Ms Flack, 40, stepped down from presenting the current Love Island show after she was alleged to have assaulted Lewis Burton 27, at her then flat in Islington, north London, in December.

She entered a not guilty plea to the assault charge at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court and she was released on bail, with conditions that stopped her having any contact with Burton ahead of a trial in March.

  • Caroline Flack's last days – with pals, a self help book and a plan to clear her name

  • Caroline Flack's boyfriend Lewis Burton pays tribute to star in heartbreaking post

In a statement released on Saturday night her management company criticised the Crown Prosecution Service for pressing ahead with what it called her "show trial" even after her boyfriend said he did not support it.

Asked about the decision of the CPS to proceed with a prosecution of Ms Flack, Mr Shapps said we have to "careful at this stage, we don't know the circumstances".

Ms Flack is the fourth person linked to ITV2 dating programme Love Island to have killed themselves.

Sophie Gradon, who appeared as a contestant in the show in 2016, was found dead at her home in 2018 at the age of 32.

Her boyfriend Aaron Armstrong, who had found her body, killed himself three weeks later. He was 25.

Mike Thalassitis, who appeared in the 2017 series, was 26 when he was found dead in a park in March last year.

Following the news of Flack's death, an ITV spokeswoman said: "Everybody at Love Island and ITV is shocked and saddened by this desperately sad news.

"Caroline was a much loved member of the Love Island team and our sincere thoughts and condolences are with her family and friends."

A highlights episode of Love Island, called Unseen Bits, that was due to air on Saturday evening on ITV2 was pulled from the schedule.

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