GB News boss defends lack of political and racial diversity among its presenters

The chief executive of GB News has said the broadcaster would “love” a wide range of voices across the political spectrum on its channel but is “yet to find someone to say yes”.

Angelos Frangopoulos also denied the news channel has an issue with diversity among its on-screen talent, despite only one presenter being non-white.

Appearing in front of the House of Lords communications and digital committee hearing on Tuesday, Mr Frangopoulos discussed the future of news in relation to impartiality and trust.

Questioned on the lack of political diversity amongst GB News presenters, Mr Frangopoulos said: “This is not by design, we would love to have a wide range of MPs on our channel in the same way that stations like LBC do, etc.

“We’ve had discussions with political parties, some say ‘well, we’re not encouraging our MPs to take second jobs’.

“It’s an ongoing conversation but it’s purely because we’ve yet to find someone to say yes.”

He explained that among the channel’s roster of more than 30 presenters there are three serving politicians.

Among the line-up is Reform Party leader Richard Tice; former Tory deputy chairman Lee Anderson, who has recently defected to Reform UK; and Conservative MP Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Former Reform UK leader Nigel Farage, former Conservative MP Michael Portillo and former Labour MP Gloria De Piero are also among its on-screen presenters.

Asked whether he feels his newsroom is an “inclusive representation of Britain” as only one presenter in its line-up is non-white, Mr Frangopoulos said: “I welcome you to our newsroom to walk around and see just how diverse our newsroom is.

“It is a melting pot of the United Kingdom and they even have migrants like me here so it is a melting pot.”

The GB News boss also discussed how he feels the role of GB News is to “offer plurality and choice” that is aimed at “mainstream Britain”.

“Our journalism isn’t for other journalists, it’s about serving communities,” he added.

Since launching in 2021, GB News has faced more than 50 inquires from Ofcom, the media watchdog which ensures broadcasters adhere to its code of conduct on areas including impartiality.

Discussing the concerns raised about GB News’ approach on maintaining impartiality, he said: “In terms of freedom of speech, that is something that we believe is absolutely paramount so individuals do have a freedom of speech right.

“That doesn’t mean that we have got the freedom to say anything. There is the law and we also have an editorial charter, which is our guiding pathway.

“Where we’ve got things wrong and people have got things wrong on our screen, we’ve got processes and procedures which were put in place and we’ve taken a relevant action and we are really confident about our compliance moving forward.”

Earlier this month, TV presenter Dan Wootton left GB News after Ofcom found comments made on his show by Laurence Fox about a female journalist broke broadcasting rules.