He said, “I will tell you what is poisonous and I have always found it poisonous. Eggplant. Do you like eggplant?”
When asked again if a toxic environment existed, he continued, “But do you like eggplant, because I don’t like eggplant. It’s just a personal thing.”
His comments were quickly condemned by an SNP MP.
John Nicolson, a member of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, tweeted: “This is a very inappropriate and disrespectful way of responding to questions about the protection of vulnerable staff and workplace bullying at ITV.”
Over the weekend, Mr Frizell accused critics of “settling the score” while defending This Morning’s culture. Mr Frizell, 64, said on Saturday: “I think you have to read between the lines. I think some scores are being settled.
Dr. Ranj Singh, a former regular staff member, used the word to describe his experience, while former co-presenter Eamonn Holmes has also said a “toxic” culture terrified staff, a claim rejected by Schofield.
Mr Frizell’s comments were made amid increasing pressure on senior ITV executives to explain what they knew about Schofield’s affair with a much younger runner, which the presenter described as “unwise” but “not illegal”.
Schofield left the show two weeks ago and last week described his long television career as “over” and suggested he had contemplated suicide due to the backlash.
ITV CEO Carolyn McCall will be questioned by MPs on culture, media and sport.
committee on June 14.