Andrew Neil quits as chair of GB News amid ‘split loyalties’ at channel
Andrew Neil has quit as chair of GB News just a few months after the channel launched.
It has been reported that GB News is currently experiencing ‘split loyalties’ behind the scenes as Andrew’s decision to step down from his roles has been announced.
In a statement released from GB News, it said that the 72-year-old will no longer be chair of the company nor host his primetime show.
He will still appear on GB News as a regular guest commentator on the channel’s various programmes.
In a statement, Andrew said: ‘I am sorry to go but I have concluded it’s time to reduce my commitments on a number of fronts. Over the summer I’ve had time to reflect on my extensive portfolio of interests and decided it was time to cut back.’
He added: ‘I wish GB News well in continuing to fulfil its founding promise and mission to reach audiences currently underserved by existing news broadcasters.’
GB News said: ‘Andrew is without doubt one of the finest journalists and interviewers in this country. GB News thanks him for his 12 months of leadership, wisdom and advice and we wish him well.’
Before the news of Andrew’s departure from the company was announced, it was reported that there are ‘split loyalties’ within the GB News ranks, with several high-profile presenters feeling frustrated about the direction the channel has gone in.
According to sources, former BBC News anchor Simon McCoy has expressed his disappointment over the direction GB News has gone in as a news channel, in addition to the technical errors that have been made on-air, The Times reported.
Nonetheless, he is expected to be staying at the channel, while former Sky Sports News presenter Kirsty Gallacher – who co-hosts his breakfast show with him – is also said to have become annoyed by the channel.
There is supposedly a divide at GB News between individuals who regard themselves as ‘traditional news journalists’ and presenters who are ‘populist commentators’ and are making the channel veer more towards emulating Fox News in the US.
Ahead of GB News’ launch, Andrew insisted that it would not be like a British Fox News, stating: ‘That is an easy, inaccurate shorthand for what we are trying to do. In terms of format we are like Fox but we won’t be like Fox in that they come from a hard right disinformation fake news conspiracy agenda.
‘I have worked too long and hard to build up a journalistic reputation to consider going down that route.’
He added that there is a ‘strong editorial charter written into everybody’s contracts saying that if they spread fake news and conspiracy theories they will face disciplinary action’.
However, in the new report in The Times, a source said: ‘The idea that we aren’t Fox News is increasingly laughable.’
It’s been speculated that people including former Brexit Party politicians Ann Widdecombe and Martin Daubney could be joining GB News, in addition to Conservative social media commentator Mahyar Tousi.
Furthermore, there is still continued speculation over whether Piers Morgan could be hired following his departure from Good Morning Britain earlier this year.
Metro.co.uk has contacted GB News for comment.
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