A wet Tory MP has demanded GB News be taken off air completely following the fall out from Laurence Fox and Dan Wootton’s suspension from the channel.
During a Newsnight debate on the BBC, Caroline Nokes – who chairs the House of Commons’ Women and Equalities Committee – said: “I think it should be taken off air”.
She argued “very few people” would have seen the show had the clip not exploded on social media.
According to BARB figures seen by the Express, around 60,000 viewers were tuned into Dan Wootton’s show when Laurence Fox made the comments.
Ms Nokes defended the broadcaster regulator Ofcom, arguing it has a “really proud record of defending free speech” but said she doesn’t want them to “shoot from the hip”.
She agreed with the former Sky News political editor Adam Boulton, who was also on the panel discussion, who called for the channel to be taken off air.
“It was entirely predictable that Laurence Fox was going to come out with a statement that was that offensive, but I think what was less predictable was Dan Wootton’s striking reaction.
“I think Ofcom deserves a bit of time and space to do its job,”
The senior Tory MP suggest parliamentarians may have a role in “tightening up” regulations around broadcast rules if they’re “not happy” with them.
While she conceded that media regulations isn’t her portfolio, she confessed: “I think it’s something that we have to look at”.
Ms Nokes claimed there is a “real risk” that Mr Fox may now “disappear off to online platforms where they will develop big followings of equally strange people”.
She boasted: “I don’t go on any of their shows because to be frank, from my perspective, if you’re an MP you have a day job to do getting on with the work that 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”.
The comment was an obvious attack on her Tory MP colleagues Lee Anderson, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Esther McVey and Philip Davies, all of whom have shows on the channel.
Adam Boulton blasted the channel and Ofcom, saying it isn’t tough enough.
The longstanding broadcaster warned that people with views like Laurence Fox and Russell Brand can no longer be “shut down” merely by refusing to platform them on mainstream broadcasters, as they can go online to YouTube or Rumble in order to gain a following and income.
He added: I think the complaints have piled up against GB News I think there is a delicate and important broadcast ecology in this country, I think GB News is trying to bust that ecology and frankly what Ofcom should do is shut it down, like Ofcom shut down Russia Today”.