Andrew Neil has spoken out again about the reasons for his departure from GB News, the right-leaning news channel he helped to found.
Speaking on the BBC’s Question Time on 16 September, Neil said he stepped down as chairman of GB News after differences over the direction in which the channel was heading.
The journalist and broadcaster, 72, had been absent from the fledgling broadcaster since announcing a break two weeks into its launch.
The channel said he will continue to contribute as a regular guest commentator.
Neil, formerly one of the BBC’s veteran political interviewers, was hired to lead the channel’s evening line-up with a prime-time news and interview programme.
GB News launched in June with Neil saying it would not “slavishly follow the existing news agenda”, would cover “the stories that matter to you and those that have been neglected” and deliver “a huge range of voices that reflect the views and values of our United Kingdom”.
What did Neil say?
Neil told Question Time the launch of the channel could not be described as a “startling success” and that he felt he was in a “minority of one” about its future.
“More and more differences emerged between myself and the other senior managers and the board of GB News,” he said.
“Rather than these differences narrowing, they got wider and wider and I felt it was best that if that’s the route they wanted to take then that’s up to them, it’s their money.
“The route is what I think you can see on GB News at the moment, people should make up their own minds what they want to watch.”
He added: “I thought it wasn’t for me, I had wanted a different route – it doesn’t mean that I’m right or they’re wrong but it certainly was a difference.
“The differences were such that the direction they were going in was not the direction that I had outlined, it was not the direction I had envisaged for the channel.
“But I was in a minority of one, so it’s doing what it’s doing and it’s up to them. Good luck to them if that’s what they want to do.”
What is GB News?
GB News launched after securing a number of high-profile signings from across the media landscape, including ITV News journalist Alastair Stewart, BBC journalist Simon McCoy and and former Labour MP Gloria De Piero.
It began broadcasting in June, promising to offer an alternative to news providers such as the BBC and Sky News and take on so-called cancel culture.
Neil’s move came as presenter Guto Harri quit the channel following a row over him taking the knee during a debate on the racism directed towards England football players.
The channel’s director of news and programmes, John McAndrew, was also said to have stepped down.
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