Advertisement

Susanna Reid questions whether serving Conservative politicians should broadcast on GB News

Ofcom are investigating after the channel broadcast Laurence Fox making misogynistic comments about political correspondent Ava Evans.

Watch: Susanna Reid challenges Culture Secretary over MPs working as broadcasters

What did you miss?

Susanna Reid Good Morning Britain
Susanna Reid has raised the issue of Tory MPs working for GB News in light of Laurence Fox's comments. (ITV)

Susanna Reid has questioned whether serving Conservative politicians should work on GB News, following the channel's broadcast of Laurence Fox's misogynistic comments about a female journalist.

Fox has been suspended and GB News has apologised after the actor called Ava Evans – a political correspondent for online news site Joe – a "little woman" who no man "would like to climb into bed with" during an interview about freedom of speech.

Now Reid has raised the issue of elected Conservative MPs broadcasting their own shows on the channel, currently being scrutinised by broadcasting regulator Ofcom.


What, how, and why?

Laurence Fox of the Reclaim Party at Queensmead Sports Centre in South Ruislip, west London as ballots are counted in the Uxbridge and South Ruislip by-election, called following the resignation of former prime minister Boris Johnson. Picture date: Friday July 21, 2023. (Photo by Jordan Pettitt/PA Images via Getty Images)
Laurence Fox, unelected member of the Reclaim Party has been suspended by GB News. (Getty Images)

Reid interviewed Tory MP Lucy Frazer on Good Morning Britain, who was appearing on the ITV breakfast show to discuss home secretary Suella Braverman's latest speech in immigration.

The GMB presenter challenged culture Secretary Frazer over the issue of elected Conservative MPs broadcasting their own shows on the channel.

Reid said: "GB News is the channel where your deputy chairman Lee Anderson has a show and a number of other MPs as well. What did you make of what happened?"

Frazer replied: "Well, of course those comments were unacceptable, as you said, and GB News have apologised for that. We have a regulator that regulator is Ofcom and I'm sure that they’ll be looking into this."

Reid asked: "Do you think that Conservative MPs should be on news channels, particularly news channels, which broadcast that kind of content?"

Frazer replied: "As I've said it was an inappropriate comment. We have a regulator Ofcom who regulates these sorts of things and there are a number of issues that a number of channels are looking into at the moment."

Co-host Richard Madeley interrupted and accused her of, "Not answering the question".

Frazer argued serving MPs could broadcast on news channels "because there is a broadcasting code, which identifies the rules of broadcasting and that does allow presenters who are MPs to take part in current affairs programmes".

Madeley asked: "Should GB News should be shut down?"

Richard Madeley on GMB
Richard Madeley questioned whether GB News should be shut down. (ITV/Shutterstock)

Frazer said any breach of the broadcasting rules were a matter for Ofcom.

Broadcasting regulator Ofcom has confirmed it has relieved a number of complaints about Fox's offensive remarks and will announce whether it will be launching an investigation in due course.

It said in a statement: "We can confirm we've received a number of complaints about comments made by Laurence Fox on GB News last night.

"We are assessing these complaints against our broadcast rules and will publish the outcome as quickly as possible."

Section three of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code pertaining to hatred and abuse states that material which contains "abusive or derogatory treatment of individuals must not be included in television and radio services".

GB News has announced it has suspended Fox over comments made on the channel.

It said in a statement: "GB News has formally suspended Laurence Fox while we continue our investigation into comments he made on the channel last night. Mr Fox's suspension is effective immediately and he has been taken off air. We will be apologising formally to Ms Evans today."

Conservative MPs currently employed by GB News include Conservative Party deputy chairman and MP for Ashfield Lee Anderson, MP for North East Somerset and former leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg, MP for Tatton Esther McVey and MP for Shipley Philip Davies.


What happened on GB News?

Laurence Fox
Laurence Fox called political correspondent Ava Evans a 'little woman' who no man would want to sleep with. (Getty Images)

During an with Dan Wootton interview on GB News Fox called Evans a “little woman” and went on to say: “Show me a single self-respecting man that would like to climb into bed with that woman ever, ever, who wasn’t an incel.

“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’d want to s**g that?”

Fox and Wootton both laughed, and Fox added: “Sorry, it’s true though.”

Evans has commented on social media platform X, formerly Twitter: "Laurence Fox just did a whole speech on GB News on why men apparently won’t s**g me ? I feel physically sick."

GB News has issued a statement of apology to Evans and pledged to investigate.

It said: "Comments made tonight on GB News by Laurence Fox were totally unacceptable. What he said does not reflect our values and we apologise unreservedly for the comments and the offence they have caused. We have launched an investigation and will be apologising to the individual involved."

Tabloid journalist Wootton also said sorry on X, posting: "I apologise unreservedly for what was a very unfortunate lapse in judgement on my part under the intense pressure of a bizarre exchange. I know I should have done better."

Fox, 45, has said in a lengthy statement on X that he will never apologise, writing: "So if you are expecting a grovelling apology, I suggest you don’t hold your breath. I won’t ever apologise to the mob."

The actor is best known for playing detective James Hathaway in long-running ITV drama Lewis.

Laurence Fox is an unelected member of the Reclaim Party. (Getty Images)
Laurence Fox is an unelected member of the Reclaim Party. (Getty Images)

He become the centre of a media storm after voicing controversial opinions on political debate show Question Time in January 2020.

During the coronavirus pandemic he has been outspoken against lockdown restrictions and in May 2021 he stood for London mayor, only to lose his £10,000 after getting just 1.8% of votes.

He was invited to join GB News as a presenter in October 2022.

A member of the Fox acting dynasty – his father is James Fox, his uncle is Edward Fox and his cousins are Freddie and Emilia Fox.

Read more: Laurence Fox taken down by Gary Lineker over Homes for Ukraine scheme

He was married to actor and pop singer Billie Piper from 2007 to 2016 and they share two sons Winston, 14, and Eugene, 11.

Good Morning Britain airs on ITV from 6am to 9am from Monday to Friday.


Read more: GB News

Watch: Laurence Fox's infamous Question Time appearance