Advertisement

Dan Wootton leaves GB News after Ofcom finds Laurence Fox comments broke rules

TV presenter Dan Wootton has left GB News after media watchdog Ofcom found comments made on his show by Laurence Fox about a female journalist broke broadcasting rules.

Wootton was suspended by GB News after the broadcast but has now left the channel to launch his own independent platform.

He said on Tuesday: “I confirm today that I have left GB News to launch my own independent platform www.danwoottonoutspoken.com which will feature a brand new daily news and opinion show from later this year that will not be regulated by the Ofcommunist censors.

“However, yesterday’s chilling Ofcom report clearly raises far bigger issues.

“How can any British broadcaster truly stand for freedom of expression when state goons have the power to decide what you are and are not allowed to say on air? Unlike the freedoms enjoyed in the US thanks to the First Amendment, how can these media outlets ever be anything other than controlled opposition?

“As the epitome of the deep state Liz Truss spoke about last week, the Ofcommunists have once again shown themselves to be a muzzle that bows to the woke mob and only attacks those with whom it ideologically disagrees.

“Post Office investigators, HMRC, the Police: the country is full of organisations that have gone rogue and disobey the directives of ministers and the will of Parliament.

“It’s not broadcasters who should be fearful of a carpeting from Ofcom: it’s Ofcom that should be summoned in by this supposedly Conservative government to be reined in.”

Ofcom regulates certain streaming services that fall within UK jurisdiction, but has a much narrower scope compared to broadcasters and there are no rules on impartiality or causing offence.

Actor-turned-politician Fox had asked “who would want to shag that?” when speaking about Ava Evans during an episode of Dan Wootton Tonight on September 26 last year.

Laurence Fox
Laurence Fox had also been employed by GB News (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

Neither Fox or Wootton said sorry while on air after the comments were made, but they did subsequently offer apologies.

Ofcom received 8,867 complaints.

In a ruling, the regulator said Fox’s comments “constituted a highly personal attack on Ms Evans and were potentially highly offensive to viewers”.

It found Fox’s comments to be “degrading and demeaning both to Ms Evans and women generally” and “clearly and unambiguously misogynistic”.

Wootton’s reaction and “limited challenge” in response “did not mitigate the potential for offence”, the watchdog said, but “exacerbated it”.

Following the ruling, Fox, who had already been sacked by the broadcaster, said in a statement posted to X, formerly Twitter: “I’m not overly bothered about this anymore.

“I could have expressed myself better, that’s life and I’ve said my bit.

“I still think it’s one of the biggest pieces of confected outrage I’ve ever witnessed, but in the interests of openness and transparency.”

Fox claimed that “everything” he said on air was “discussed and agreed with the production team beforehand” and they were “laughing and joking” about it.

He also alleged the channel has a delay so it could have “cut the feed, but they didn’t”.

In a note sent to staff by GB News, the broadcaster said: “Dan Wootton joined GB News before its launch and was a part of the first on-air line up.

“Dan is no longer employed by GB News, and we thank him for his contribution and wish him well with his future endeavours.”

Ofcom also announced on Monday it is launching a further investigation into Nigel Farage’s programme on the channel on January 17.

A spokesman for the regulator said: “We are investigating whether this programme broke our rules requiring news and current affairs to be presented with due impartiality, and preventing politicians from acting as news presenters.”