Alastair Stewart has joined new channel GB News – over a year after he was forced out of ITN for quoting Shakespeare at a black Twitter user.
Viewer Martin Shapland, 34, complained about his tweet quoting a Shakespeare passage that contained the phrase ‘angry ape’.
Stewart was involved in a Twitter spat with Martin Shapland last year.
The pair were discussing the relationship between the Crown and taxpayer funds.
Mr Stewart said: ‘This is you (sic) last chance.
‘As a student of history you should know the basis of the financial relationship between the Crown and the tax-payer.
‘It was sealed with the Civil List which was subsequently replaced by the Sovereign Grant & finessed by the John Major tax deal’.
Mr Stewart then quoted a speech from Shakespeare play Measure for Measure, which includes the words ‘angry ape.’
Mr Shapland shared the tweet, adding: ‘Just an ITV newsreader referring to me as an ape with the cover of Shakespeare. Measure for Measure, Alistair is a disgrace.’
Breaking his silence on the matter, at the time of the row, Mr Shapland said on Twitter that he had been “on the receiving end of a torrent of abuse”.
One tweet threatened Mr Shapland to “be looking over your shoulder for the rest of your life”, which has remained on the platform since 7am on Thursday, while other tweets contain racist insults.
The Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) organisation described the tweets as “absolutely disgusting” and said Twitter has become a “toxic place”.
“Twitter aren’t doing enough to fix it,” Imran Ahmed, chief executive of the CCDH, told the PA news agency.
“We would expect Twitter to take those tweets down as quickly as possible, and to take decisive action against the people that tweeted them in the first place, which means banning them.
“Social media and Twitter has become a toxic place for people to interact with each other, because for too long Twitter have tolerated this kind of identity-based hate and that’s normalising it throughout our society and has led to an increase in hate crimes.
“That’s why we went there to encourage them to actually follow through and demonstrate the will to act on their existing policies, not to deflect people by saying this is about algorithms, artificial intelligence, or new policies – we want them to enforce their existing policies and ban the people that have been abusing Mr Shapland.”
Stewart said: ‘GB News is a unique opportunity to broaden the spectrum, challenge the groupthink and move away a predictable agenda in news and debate.
‘I can’t wait to get stuck in and tackle issues that really matter to people across the United Kingdom.’
Stewart had been the longest-serving male newsreader after joining Southern Television in 1976 then ITN in 1980.
Kirsty Gallacher is to join the presenting line-up of new channel GB News.
The journalist and presenter will form part of the broadcaster’s breakfast team.
GB News has already announced a number of signings including former BBC presenter Simon McCoy, former executive editor for The Sun Dan Wootton and former Sky broadcaster Colin Brazier.
The former Sky Sports presenter, 45, has previously presented Channel 4 morning show RI:SE and also appeared in Strictly Come Dancing in 2015.
GB News’ director of news and programmes John McAndrew said: “Kirsty’s warmth, openness and welcoming style is what GB News is all about.
“She’s a hugely-skilled broadcaster and a fantastic addition to the GB News family.”
The new network is chaired by broadcaster Andrew Neil.
GB News will feature more than 6,500 hours of content a year, made exclusively for the channel.
It has been founded by media executives Andrew Cole and Mark Schneider.