Monday 13 September 2021 5:42 pm

Andrew Neil resigns as chairman of GB News

Andrew Neil has stepped down as chairman of GB News, the channel announced moments ago.

Neil confirmed the news on his Twitter account. He will continue to contribute to GB News as a regular guest commentator.

He 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.”

He added: “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.”

Neil’s resignation follows reports of a leadership tussle with senior management at the just-launched news and opinion channel.

Neil, a former BBC journalist and Sunday Times editor, was the primary figurehead and chairman of the news network that launched in June – before retreating from the venture last month.

He’s been holed up in France since then, promising to “return to our screens before the end of summer” but that now looks in doubt.

Rumours

Reports that Neil may never return to the network first swirled last month, after insiders told The Telegraph that relations between the chairman and chief executive had completely broken down.

One source said in August: “It’s clear to us in Paddington that the chief executive is now in total charge of everything at GB News.

GB News, which has been likened to the US’ Fox News, has struggled since pulling in bumper figures on its first night on air.

A string of difficulties, including technical issues, an advertising boycott and now a mini staff exodus, have hit the beleaguered network.

Presenter Guto Harri was taken off air in July for taking the knee in solidarity with England footballers’ protests against racism.

The incident led to the resignations of director of programming John McAndrew and senior executive producer Gill Penlington.

“John and Gill were the two grown-ups in the station and the reason why a lot of more senior people joined,” a source said.

“John’s departure is a moment where people are thinking ‘this is a concerning time’. Angelos [Frangopoulos] is in the newsroom all the time,” they added. “He is always making his view known. He is an ever-present presence.”

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