Andrew Neil resigns as chairman and lead presenter of GB News

The presenter confirmed the news in a tweet tonight

Daniel Keane
Monday 13 September 2021 20:11
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<p>Andrew Neil has quit GB News just three months after leading its launch </p>

Andrew Neil has quit GB News just three months after leading its launch

Andrew Neil has resigned as the chairman of GB News and will step down as a presenter on the channel, it has been confirmed.

The veteran broadcaster, 72, confirmed that he would no longer be the main presenter – just three months after leading its launch.

In a statement released this evening, Mr Neil 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.

“I wish GB News well in continuing to fulfil its founding promise and mission to reach audiences currently underserved by existing news broadcasters.”

A statement from 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.”

An email sent to staff today, seen by Guido Fawkes, acknowledged that employees might feel “incredibly disappointed” by the news, given Mr Neil’s pivotal role in setting up the channel.

It read: “Andrew joined GB News 12 months ago and signed a multi-year contract, so we hoped he’d stay longer.

“Andrew helped set our tone, our purpose, even our launch date. He has been integral to every major programming and hiring decision.”

It follows reports that three senior GB News producers had resigned amid a growing debate over the direction of the channel.

Mr Neil, a former editor of The Sunday Times and BBC political presenter, was integral to the launch of the channel in June. He had promised to “change the face of news and debate in the UK” – claiming that broadcasters were “increasingly woke” and “out of touch” with the British people.

But after just two weeks in the role of lead presenter, Mr Neil went on a period of leave and did not return. Former Sky News presenter Colin Brazier and ex-ITV News host Alastair Stewart covered for Mr Neil during his absence.

Since its launch, the channel has been plagued by technical problems and reports of internal feuds. Presenter Guto Harri resigned after a furious debate over him taking the knee during a debate over racism directed at England football players. It led to accusations that the channel had censored one of its members of staff despite openly decrying “cancel culture”.

In July, GB News hired former UKIP leader Nigel Farage as one of its lead presenters – a move seen by many as a pivot towards a more populist style with a focus on “culture war” issues. Mr Neil was a guest on Farage’s show this evening and will make regular further appearances.

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