Broadcaster concedes the discussion lacked balance and should have been more impartial.
The BBC has conceded that its presentation during a Newsnight discussion concerning GB News fell short of its impartiality standards. The controversy arose after Tory MP Caroline Nokes, during the programme, expressed that The People’s Channel ought to be “taken off air”.
This came after actor Laurence Fox made comments on GB News about political journalist Ava Evans, which GB News labelled as “totally unacceptable”. Subsequently, Fox and the host of the show in question were both suspended awaiting the outcome of an internal review.
The BBC’s admission followed a series of remarks made about GB News on the Newsnight programme, where participants, including Adam Boulton and the aforementioned Nokes, criticised the channel, with some demanding its shutdown. Newsnight editor, Stewart Maclean, in a communication to GB News presenter and Tory MP, Philip Davies, stated that the discussion would have benefitted from having someone to “robustly defend the channel”, implying the discourse lacked balance.
Furthermore, during the Newsnight debate, Nokes had asserted the need for The People’s Channel to be suspended. Interestingly, Nokes had been featured on the channel nine times previously. Adam Boulton also added to the criticism by suggesting GB News posed a threat to British broadcasting and recommended that Ofcom should consider “shutting it down”.
In reaction to the discussion on GB News, presenter Dan Wootton extended an “unreserved” apology for an oversight in judgement. Moreover, Laurence Fox has apologised for his comments, and GB News issued a statement condemning Fox’s remarks and highlighting that it did not align with their core values. Source