Broadcast regulator Ofcom has been inundated with complaints about one GB News presenter.
The 373 complaints have been received after Dan Wootton, previously editor at The Sun, criticised the delay in removing all Covid lockdown restrictions.
Speaking live on the Sunday launch of the TV channel, Wootton said: “If we can’t get freedom back in the middle of summer, then I’ll admit it, I struggle to maintain hope.
“It’s increasingly clear now that there is a move among some public health officials and politicians to create an ultra-cautious bio-security state copying the likes of China. Well, I say ‘hell no’ to that! And I hope you do too.”
He then continued his rant by agreeing with Theresa May on lifting current travel restrictions, but not without slamming her on Brexit and praising “Brexit hero Boris Johnson”.
“Theresa May, look, she was the wrong prime minister to deliver Brexit. She came close to botching the whole thing. But she is right, you know, on the current inertia damning the UK,” he said.
He added: “Believe me, I want to keep faith with that swash buckling Brexit hero Boris Johnson, the only political leader who was able to fight the establishment and deliver on the biggest democratic vote in our history. But he must tap into his soul.”
May slammed Johnson’s travel restrictions
May has heavily criticised the government’s international travel restrictions, labelling its traffic light system as “chaotic”.
Despite all over 50s being fully vaccinated by 21 June, strict travel rules mean the government failed to keep its promise to implement internationally-agreed standard health measures.
She said: “One year on, we are no further forward – what we have is a devastated industry, jobs lost and global Britain shut for business. More than not being any further forward, we’ve gone backwards.
“We now have over 50 per cent of the adult population vaccinated, yet we’re more restricted on travel than we were last year.
“In 2020, I went to Switzerland in August, South Korea in September, there was no vaccine and travel was possible – this year there is a vaccine, travel is not possible. I really don’t understand the stance the government is taking.”
The current travel system in the UK involves countries being placed under the green, amber or red list – but very few countries are placed on the green list, and do not have to quarantine or buy private Covid tests which puts travellers off due to time and money considerations.
Different to other TV channels?
GB News, which has been labelled by online users as GBeebies after the popular BBC children programme CBeebies, has previously claimed it will be different to the BBC. According to The Guardian, co-founder Andrew Cole has previously said on LinkedIn that the BBC was “possibly the most biased propaganda machine in the world” and told people to “watch out for the launch of a completely new TV news channel for the UK – one that will be distinctly different from the out-of-touch incumbents”.
“The people need and want this new perspective,” he said.
But the newspaper’s media editor wasn’t so sure about the claims after a GB News guest discussed paedophilia and Prince Andrew with Dan Wootton.
Well it’s certainly different. pic.twitter.com/HrS2bIy1Lg— Jim Waterson (@jimwaterson) June 15, 2021
Fears have been aired that the GB News could bring very biased coverage similar to Fox News to the UK – as their branding shows Union Jack colours and some of their segments are called ‘Wokewatch’ and ‘Free Speech Nations’.