Who is Dan Wootton? GB News presenter's MailOnline column paused while allegations investigated

The journalist and broadcaster has denied claims about his past.

Dan Wootton has spoken publicly about allegations made against him. (GB News/PA)
Dan Wootton has spoken publicly about allegations made against him. (GB News/PA)

Journalist and broadcaster Dan Wootton's MailOnline column has been paused while the publication investigates allegations made about his past.

The 40-year-old has said he made "errors of judgement in the past", but denied "criminal allegations", saying they were "simply untrue".

The presenter is alleged to have offered media colleagues thousands of pounds for explicit material of themselves, while using fake online identities.

But addressing the allegations on his own GB News show shortly after they emerged, Wootton said he had been the "target" of a "smear campaign".

Following the claims, the publishers of MailOnline and his previous employers at The Sun newspaper said they were looking into allegations made against Wootton.

His MailOnline column, which he has written regularly since 2021, has now been paused while those investigations are underway, the publication's publisher DMG Media confirmed.

A spokesperson for DMG Media told Yahoo News UK: "We are continuing to consider a series of allegations which Dan Wootton – who has written columns for MailOnline since 2021 as one of several outside freelance contributors – has strenuously denied.

"The allegations are obviously serious but also complex and historic and there is an independent investigation under way at the media group which employed him during the relevant period.

"In the meantime, his freelance column with MailOnline has been paused."

Who is Dan Wootton?

Dan Wootton on Lorraine (ITV)
Dan Wootton has held several roles, including showbiz reporter on morning show Lorraine. (ITV)

Wootton was born in New Zealand in 1983 to British parents, and holds both New Zealand and British citizenship.

He worked in New Zealand as a journalist until he immigrated to the UK when he was 21.

He held several roles at the News of the World and The Sun newspapers and made several appearances as a showbiz reporter on ITV’s Lorraine show between 2011 and 2019.

His work as a journalist in the UK has led him to break several major news stories – including the withdrawal of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex from royal duties, which came to be known as 'Megxit'.

In January 2021 he announced that he would leave his job as executive editor at The Sun.

He then became a columnist for MailOnline, owned by DMG Media, which is also a publisher of the Daily Mail and Metro newspapers.

In June 2021, Wootton helped launch news channel GB News, where he presents a daily show four nights a week.

The show, initially called Tonight Live with Dan Wootton, was rebranded to Dan Wootton Tonight and shortened to two hours in November 2021.

Speaking about GB News, Wootton said: “What we’re trying to do here is something different, to give a voice to the long forgotten people of the United Kingdom.”

Dan Wootton has said criminal allegations made about him are ‘untrue’. (Reuters)
Dan Wootton has said criminal allegations made about him are ‘untrue’. (Reuters)

In July, the Guardian and Byline Times reported that Wootton offered colleagues in the media thousands of pounds for explicit material of themselves while using a pseudonym.

Wootton responded by saying he was the victim of a “witch hunt” by “nefarious players” and said all criminal allegations made against him are “untrue”.

Addressing the claims on his GB News show, he said: "As a journalist, I feel uncomfortable being the story but I’ve always promised you that this show has no spin and no bias and no censorship so I owe it to you to address this.”

He added: “I, like all fallible human beings, have made errors of judgement in the past but the criminal allegations being made against me are simply untrue.

“I would like nothing more than to address those spurious claims, I could actually spend the next two hours doing so, but on the advice of my lawyers I cannot comment further.”

Dan Wootton helped launch GB News in June 2021. (GB News/PA)
Dan Wootton helped launch GB News in June 2021. (GB News/PA)

Contacted by Yahoo News UK following the reports, the Metropolitan Police said: “In June 2023, the Metropolitan Police was contacted with regards to allegations of sexual offences committed by a man.

“Officers are assessing information to establish whether any criminal offence has taken place. There is no police investigation at this time.”

A spokesperson for News UK, publisher of The Sun, said of their own investigation in July: “We are looking into the allegations made in recent days. We are not able to make any further comment at this stage.”

In July, Culture, Media and Sport Committee chairwoman Dame Caroline Dinenage wrote to The Sun requesting details of the newspaper’s investigation into Wootton.

A letter issued by The Sun’s editor Victoria Newton in response said: "We take these allegations seriously but we are in no position to comment further and indeed we make no commitment to make any further comment depending on the outcome of our investigation."

Yahoo News UK has contacted GB News for further comment.

Update: Yahoo understands that the Met Police and Police Scotland have investigated the allegations against Mr Wootton. In February 2024, both concluded that no further action was necessary.