Ofcom probes GB News after ex-Lewis star Laurence Fox is suspended for vile sexist rant: TV station in crisis after presenter says live on air of woman journalist – 'Who would want to s**g that?'

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  • GB News said the presenter of the show, Dan Wootton, had also been suspended
  • Ofcom confirmed it had received a ‘number of complaints’ 

Media regulator Ofcom last night launched a probe into GB News after actor Laurence Fox made highly offensive comments about a female political journalist on air.

The vulgar sexual remarks made by the 45-year-old activist sparked anger across the political divide yesterday, with the channel suspending Fox.

Ofcom confirmed it had received a ‘number of complaints’ and was ‘assessing these complaints against our broadcast rules’. It added it would ‘publish the outcome as quickly as possible’.

GB News, backed by hedge-fund tycoon Paul Marshall, apologised after Fox attacked Ava Evans, political correspondent for news website JOE. He sparked fury after he said ‘who would want to s**g that? and asked ‘what self-respecting man’ would ‘climb into bed’ with ‘that woman’. He also described her as a ‘little woman’.

Ms Evans responded on social media, saying Fox’s comments made her feel ‘physically sick’.

Laurence Fox sparked fury after he said 'who would want to s**g that? and asked 'what self-respecting man' would 'climb into bed' with 'that woman'

Laurence Fox sparked fury after he said ‘who would want to s**g that? and asked ‘what self-respecting man’ would ‘climb into bed’ with ‘that woman’

Political correspondent for news website JOE, Ava Evans (pictured), said the exchange made her feel 'disgusting' and 'vile'

Political correspondent for news website JOE, Ava Evans (pictured), said the exchange made her feel ‘disgusting’ and ‘vile’

Later yesterday afternoon, GB News revealed that the presenter of the show, Dan Wootton, had also been suspended. Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer branded Fox’s comments ‘inappropriate and unacceptable’ while Tory backbencher, Philip Davies, who co-presents a show on the channel, said the ‘disgraceful’ remarks were ‘completely unacceptable, unjustifiable and indefensible’.

Labour shadow culture secretary Thangam Debbonaire wrote on X, formerly Twitter: ‘Last night’s woman hating on air has hit a new low. Should we (women) have to tell a broadcaster that on-air woman-hate is not OK?’

And fellow Labour frontbencher Matthew Pennycook said: ‘Ofcom must act to end this kind of odious behaviour whenever and wherever it takes place.’

Fox’s outburst came during a discussion on GB News on Tuesday night, which came in response to Ms Evans’ comments earlier this week that the idea of a minister for men would ‘feed into the culture war’.

Appearing on BBC2’s Politics Live on Monday, Ms Evans was accused of being dismissive about men’s mental health issues. She subsequently admitted on social media she had been ‘a little rash on my anti-minister for men comments which I do regret’.

Yet Fox, who founded the Reclaim Party in 2020, told the Dan Wootton Tonight show: ‘We’re past the watershed so I can say this: show me a single self-respecting man that would like to climb into bed with that woman, ever, ever, who wasn’t an incel [involuntary celibate who hates women]?

‘We need powerful strong amazing women who make great points for themselves, we don’t need these sort of feminist 4.0… they’re pathetic and embarrassing. Who would want to s**g that?’ Wootton had seemed to laugh at Fox’s comments before apologising yesterday. But Fox later revealed text messages between the pair making light of it, saying: ‘Honesty is the best policy.’

Ms Evans said the exchange made her feel ‘disgusting’ and ‘vile’. She revealed last night she had received a ‘gracious’ apology from GB News but had yet to decide if she would accept it.

Among the messages of support from the public were also ‘threats that have come into my inbox’.

GB News apologised after Fox attacked Ava Evans (pictured)

GB News apologised after Fox attacked Ava Evans (pictured)

GB News revealed that the presenter of the show, Dan Wootton, had also been suspended

GB News revealed that the presenter of the show, Dan Wootton, had also been suspended 

Speaking to the BBC Newscast podcast, the journalist said: ‘There is a following that he has that is quite fanatical. I think that’s possibly the most polite way I can say it and I’ve already been looking at a few threats that have come into my inbox, and I’m like, over the evening, is this going to really ramp up and maybe I’m going to have to watch over my shoulder before I go to my house.

‘Just before we came in here, there was a tweet that said ‘watch your back’.’ But Fox, whose acting credits include Morse spin-off Lewis and Gosford Park, refused to back down, saying he ‘won’t ever apologise to the mob’ and declaring: ‘I stand by every word of what I said.’

GB News, which has previously broken broadcasting rules three times, responded to the controversy not long after the programme aired, to say the remarks were ‘totally unacceptable’ and did not ‘reflect our values’.

It added it had launched an investigation. The broadcaster put out a further statement revealing it had ‘formally suspended’ Fox, who presents shows for the channel, while it carried out its probe.

It is unclear at this stage if Fox will ever return to the channel. Staff are said to be calling for him to be permanently exiled.

There have been three breaches of broadcasting rules by GB News since it launched in 2021.

The first saw the channel fall foul of the rules by presenting a ‘misleading interpretation’ of data around the Covid vaccine ‘risking harm to viewers’. Author Naomi Wolf separately claimed, unchallenged, that the vaccine was comparable to the ‘actions of doctors in pre-Nazi Germany’.

Fox, who founded the Reclaim Party in 2020, said: 'We're past the watershed so I can say this: show me a single self-respecting man that would like to climb into bed with that woman'

Fox, who founded the Reclaim Party in 2020, said: ‘We’re past the watershed so I can say this: show me a single self-respecting man that would like to climb into bed with that woman’

Laurence Fox made highly offensive comments about a female political journalist whilst on GB News

Laurence Fox made highly offensive comments about a female political journalist whilst on GB News

The channel has also been reprimanded for breaking impartiality rules when two Tory MPs interviewed Chancellor Jeremy Hunt. It is being investigated over a further six cases involving impartiality and politicians as presenters.

The scandal comes at a time when Mr Marshall, who reportedly owns nearly half of GB News, is said to be putting together a bid for the Telegraph Media group, which includes the Daily Telegraph.

Yesterday afternoon the channel said: ‘GB News has suspended Dan Wootton following comments made on his programme by Laurence Fox last night. This follows our decision earlier today to formally suspend Mr Fox. We are conducting a full investigation.’

Last month the publishers of MailOnline said that they had paused Wootton’s freelance column for the website following historical allegations that he had used a pseudonym and offered money for sexual material to colleagues while working for another media group – claims he has strongly denied.







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