Have your say: Should GB News be taken off air?

GB News is facing calls to be taken off the air following Laurence Fox's comments about a female journalist.

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  • Broadcaster is facing calls to be shut down following Laurence Fox comments

  • Scandal isn't the first to hit the channel

There are calls for GB News to be taken off the air. (Getty)
There are calls for GB News to be taken off the air. (Getty)

GB News is facing calls to shut down following a deluge of complaints over Laurence Fox's comments about a female journalist.

Conservative MP Caroline Nokes joined calls for the channel to be taken off air in the wake of the misogyny scandal, which has seen Fox and presenter Dan Wootton suspended by GB News.

Ofcom has reportedly received more than 7,000 complaints over the GB News segment, which saw Fox make a series of comments about political correspondent Ava Evans, including asking "who would want to shag that?".

GB News boss Angelos Frangopoulos has apologised, saying he was "appalled" by Fox's remarks, which went "way past the limits of acceptance", and he expects the channel's internal investigation to be “resolved very quickly”.

MailOnline has also terminated its contract Wootton, who was a columnist for the site.

Speaking on Newsnight on Thursday, Nokes said: "It should be taken off air. It was entirely predictable that Laurence Fox was going to come out with a statement that was that offensive. I think what was less predictable would be Dan Wootton’s smirking reaction."

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2019/09/04: Former Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes is seen at College Green in  Westminster, London. (Photo by Steve Taylor/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Caroline Nokes said on Newsnight that GB News should be taken off the air. (Getty)

Scandal-hit GB News under fire from critics: Read more/Latest news

The latest scandal to hit GB News has prompted critics to question whether the station should be allowed to continue to broadcast.

In the wake of Fox's comments, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Ofcom needed "more teeth", telling Sky's Sophy Ridge: ""These people have got to be kept off the air - this cannot be allowed.

"I'm not in favour of censorship, but you cannot have this fall in standards and allow it to continue."

Journalist Owen Jones also suggested that the station should be taken off-air, saying: "These little creeps are disgusting, and this is absolutely intolerable. It is beyond belief that this is allowed to be broadcast."

Also speaking on Newsnight on Thursday, former Sky News presenter Adam Boulton said the channel should be 'shut down' for trying to 'bust' the 'delicate and important broadcast ecology in this country'.

Earlier, GMB presenter Richard Madeley asked culture Secretary Frazer: "Should GB News should be shut down?"

But Frazer said any breach of broadcasting rules were a matter for Ofcom.

Shutting down GB News is 'political censorship'

Amid calls for GB News to be shut down, journalist Brendan O'Neill said such a move would be 'political censorship' and would threaten media freedom.

Writing in the Spectator, he accused critics of "rank opportunism".

"This is where Britain is at right now," he wrote. "The speed with which the social-media fury over Laurence Fox’s dumb comments on GB News morphed into a campaign to shut GB News down has been extraordinary. Forget Fox’s broadcasting career – it is media freedom itself that now hangs in the balance."

He said the furore was about "rapping the knuckles of a news channel, potentially even obliterating it, because it dares to go against the grain of the ‘broadcast ecology’ as defined by the right-thinking media elites", adding: "This is political censorship masquerading as a cry for social justice."

Jacob Rees-Mogg in the studio at GB News during his new show Jacob Rees-Mogg's State of The Nation. Picture date: Monday February 27, 2023. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)
There is also a question mark over whether serving politicians should have their own shows on GB News. (Getty)

Should politicians have their own TV shows?

The scandal has also re-ignited the debate over whether serving politicians should have shows on the channel.

Nokes said it was "odd" that her Conservative colleagues, including Jacob Rees-Mogg and Esther McVey, host programmes on GB News.

She said: "To be frank, from my perspective, if you’re a Member of Parliament you have a day job to do, getting on with the work you have in the House of Commons, and not swanning off in some cases several times a week to present a show on a television channel."

Her comments come after Good Morning Britain presenter Susanna Reid questioned whether serving Conservative politicians should work on GB News.