British journalist Martin Bashir announced Wednesday he was quitting US news broadcaster MSNBC after he made crude on-air remarks about former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Bashir, who took time off from the cable news channel after his comments last month, said in a statement that he had given his resignation after reflection. "It is my sincere hope that all of my colleagues, at this special network, will be allowed to focus on the issues that matter without the distraction of myself or my ill-judged comments," he wrote. Last month, Bashir denounced Palin for her having compared United States' indebtedness to China to the country's slave-holding past. He commented that Palin was ignorant of the horrors of slavery, citing a case of one owner, Thomas Thistlewood, who forced a slave to "s-h-i-t" -- Bashir spelled the term out -- in another's mouth. "When Mrs. Palin invoked slavery, she doesn't just prove her rank ignorance," Bashir said on November 15. "She confirms that if anyone truly qualified for a dose of discipline from Thomas Thistlewood, then she would be the outstanding candidate." Bashir said in his statement on the MSNBC website: "I deeply regret what was said, will endeavor to work hard at making constructive contributions in the future and will always have a deep appreciation for our viewers - who are the smartest, most compassionate and discerning of all television audiences. Phil Griffin, president of MSNBC, said in an accompanying statement: "Martin Bashir resigned today, effective immediately. I understand his decision and I thank him for three great years with MSNBC. Martin is a good man and respected colleague -- we wish him only the best." Palin last month called Bashir's comments "vile" and "evil," and the row prompted her supporters to complain about media bias for failing to discipline Bashir. Bashir worked at Britain's BBC for several years, and gained prominence for his 1995 interview with Princess Diana, in which the wife of Prince Charles revealed: "There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded." Bashir also conducted a series of interviews with pop star Michael Jackson in 2003 for an ITV documentary. He later moved to the United States to join ABC News, and then MSNBC as a political commentator in 2010.