GB News, the Discovery-backed channel that set out to disrupt British news, has suffered its highest-profile walk-out after launching just three months ago as its top host, Andrew Neil, confirmed he is leaving the network.
Neil went on a “summer break” in June after presenting only eight episodes of his primetime politics show. He was reportedly expected back on screens at the beginning of September.
As his absence went on, rumours grew he planned to exit the show.
“It’s official,” he tweeted on Monday evening. “I have resigned as Chairman and Lead Presenter of GB News.”
“Our Chairman and Presenter Andrew Neil has stepped down from his roles at GB News and will instead appear as a regular guest commentator on our shows,” tweeted a statement from the GB News Twitter account.
“‘I am sorry to go but I have concluded it’s time to reduce my commitments,’ the account tweeted, ostensibly sharing Neil’s resignation statement. “‘I wish GB News well in continuing to fulfil its founding promise and mission to reach audiences currently underserved by existing news broadcasters.”
“Andrew is without doubt one of the finest journalists and interviewers in this country,” GB News’ statement continued. “GB News thanks him for his 12 months of leadership, wisdom and advice and we wish him well.”
Neil’s walkout is the latest episode in what The Times of London has described as a split in the ranks between traditional journalists and those who wish for GB News to become a British version of Fox News.
Director of news and programmes John McAndrew left in July. He was followed by Neil’s producer Jamie McConkey, senior producer Sarah Weaver and senior daytime producer and Joceline Sharman last week, reported The Times.
Adding to the network’s woes, ratings have also plummeted since it debuted in June.