THE "real" reason behind Carol McGiffin's Loose Women exit has now been revealed.
The divisive ITV panelist, 63, this week told how she had "stepped back" from her Loose Women gig.
Carol originally joined the weekday series in 2000 and this week took aim at show bosses for an alleged "totally unjust" contract dispute.
Yet now, her controversial views on the coronavirus pandemic – which saw the TV star accuse the World Health Organisation of a "plot" – are said to be to blame.
According to MailOnline, her comments on TNT radio were at the "centre" of her decision to quit.
Carol's TNT Radio interview for The Freeman Report with James Freeman is said to have seen her accuse media organisations of being "bought off by the Government."
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She then took fire at former Health Secretary Matt Hancock MP and sensationally claimed he shipped sick patients from France to the UK to fill "empty hospital beds."
In another clip, she alleged there was: "Government orders to disable the [Twitter] accounts of people who were speaking out against the government, and the narrative and the Covid restrictions and all of those things."
Her comments prompted a flood of calls to the radio network as well as ITV, with some demanding she be sacked.
Earlier this week, an ITV spokesperson told The Sun: "ITV will not comment on or disclose details of individual contracts but all ITV contracts comply with the relevant external legislation."
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It came after Carol told Best Magazine how the "stress" over upcoming contract negotiations had been impacting her life.
She said: "I haven't been on the show for two months now because I've had to step away from it.
"It was causing me too much stress, which was mostly down to a difficult contract issue I'd been challenging since January.
"The problem was, ITV were insisting, for the first time since I went back in 2018, that if I wanted to carry on doing the show, I would have to sign a contract that was totally unjust and unworkable for me, so I had to say no thanks.
"And I know it looks like I've thrown my toys out of the pram, but the whole saga was affecting my health."
Carol, who is a favourite for her fiery opinions and was recently criticised for slamming her co-stars tattoos, was quick to emphasise her current situation.
She added to the publication: "It's not really that I've left, I'm just not doing it at the moment. I feel quite upset about it, if I'm honest, because although it is my decision, I felt like it was one I was being forced to make.
"No one in their right mind would have signed that contract. And I can't see a way back from it."
And ITV insider said: "From April 2021, HMRC made changes to off-payroll (IR35) legislation, which means the responsibility of assessing whether a role is employed or self-employed for tax purposes, now sits with all employers.
"ITV has updated its contracting policy in line with this HMRC legislation and communicated any contract changes to all those concerned.
"Assessments are done on a case-by-case basis and subject to on-going monitoring as circumstances and legislation evolve."
With the Loose Women tour upcoming, Carol confirmed she will not be a part of it.
Yet her co-stars have rushed to support her after her exit news broke.
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