Dan Wootton latest: what has GB News presenter said about scandal - Byline Times allegations explained
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Dan Wootton has found himself at the centre of a scandal as the GB News presenter faces sexual offence allegations - and has now been suspended by the MailOnline.
The 40-year-old has been subjected to claims he carried out inappropriate sexual activity using an online pseudonym - accusations that were first reported by the Byline Times and shared by Wootton's ex-partner Alex Truby on Twitter.
A number of the allegations - which relate to when the presenter was working as an executive editor at The Sun and the News of the World - include that Wootton allegedly paid 'thousands of pounds' for sexually explicit images.
The Byline Times alleges that Wootton "hid behind fake online identities to trick and bribe scores of men into revealing compromising sexual material" over a 10-year period when he allegedly posed as showbiz agent Martin Branning.
Wootton has spoken out and wholeheartedly denied the claims, appearing on GB News on 18 July to label it a "witch hunt" that is "simply not true", as well as asking for donations to stop him from getting cancelled. He has reportedly hired lawyers to investigate the allegations and the case is being handled by the Metropolitan Police.
But the MailOnline has decided to suspend Wootton with parent company DMG Media confirming there are no plans for him to return to his duties for the foreseeable future.
It comes just weeks after the BBC suspended its star presenter Huw Edwards after he faced claims that he paid over £30,000 for sexual pictures from a vulnerable teenager. The British broadcaster is continuing its internal investigation into the matter.
Here is everything you need to know about the latest situation regarding Dan Wootton. This includes what he has said publicly about the allegations, as well as how his employers have responded.
What has Dan Wootton said about the allegations?
During his GB News address on 18 July, Dan Wootton publicly responded to what he calls a "smear campaign" and explained that the "criminal allegations being made against me are simply untrue."
He said: "These past few days, I have been the subject of a smear campaign by nefarious players with an axe to grind. It has created an untrue story about me. I, like all fallible human beings, have made errors of judgement in the past, but the criminal allegations being made against me are simply untrue.
"Being in the middle of this witch hunt has made me think a lot about the sort of journalist and broadcaster I aspire to be – one focused on the massive political threats facing this country, not on personal attacks."
Then the former Lorraine presenter took to Twitter on Friday (21 July) to share a link to a donations page titled Stop Dan Wootton being canceled by online smears. He has received around £5,000 out of a £150,000 goal at the time of writing.
Wooton wrote: "A hard left blog is on a deranged campaign of harassment designed to destroy me financially, mentally and professionally – but, with your help, they will not succeed. Please support my legal case against Byline Times so I can keep fighting for you.
"Byline Times has eschewed all journalistic, legal and moral practices to publish a series of defamatory and untrue claims as part of a highly politicised witch hunt designed to cancel and de-platform me.
"Byline have already come for the likes of the Free Speech Union, the Legatum Institute, GB News and Douglas Murray who received substantial damages for their lies. Now they and others want to silence me."
Has the Byline Times responded to Dan Wooton's comments?
The Byline Times responded to Dan Wooton in a statement provided to National Word which reads: "Byline Times is a newspaper, not a blog. We are entirely independent of parties and not aligned to any political ideology. We report without fear or favour.
"Nor has Byline Times paid legal damages to any of the orgs he mentioned. Murray received an out of court payment a few years ago personally from an editor. Byline Times disputes his comments in the strongest possible terms and we stand by our reporting of alleged victims' voices."
What has GB News, The Sun and The Daily Mail said about the allegations?
News UK - the publisher of The Sun - responded to the allegations in a statement which says: "We are looking into the allegations made in recent days. We are not able to make any further comment at this stage."
While the MailOnline's parent company DMG Media confirmed that Wootton has been suspended in a statement whicb reads: ""We are continuing to consider a series of allegations which Dan Wootton – who has written columns for MailOnline since 2021 as one of several outside freelance contributors – has strenuously denied. The allegations are obviously serious but also complex and historic and there is an independent investigation under way at the media group which employed him during the relevant period. In the meantime, his freelance column with MailOnline has been paused.”
GB News is refusing to issue a public statement to react to Dan Wootton's allegations, instead referring to the presenter's speech on 18 July.