Neil quits as chairman and presenter of GB News
Neil will no longer have his own show
Andrew Neil has quit as chairman of the fledgling GB News television channel.
The former Sunday Times editor and BBC political presenter, 72, will make twice-weekly appearances as a commentator but will no longer have his own show.
His departure follows a summer of speculation about his commitment to the channel, prompted by his decision to take a long holiday after just two weeks of shows.
There were reports that he had fallen out with GB News’s CEO Angelos Frangopoulos over the editorial direction of the channel.
Today Mr Neil announced: “I am sorry to go but I have concluded it’s time to reduce my commitments on a number of fronts.
“Over the summer I’ve had time to reflect on my extensive portfolio of interests and decided it was time to cut back.”
Mr Neil, who is also a former publisher of The Scotsman during its ownership by the Barclay Brothers, added: “I wish GB News well in continuing to fulfil its founding promise and mission to reach audiences currently underserved by existing news broadcasters.”
He also tweeted: “It’s official: I have resigned as chairman and lead presenter of GB News.”
Within two hours of his announcement, he appeared on former UKIP leader Nigel Farage’s 7pm show to discuss the influence of China on British universities.
In its own statement GB News said: “Andrew is without doubt one of the finest journalists and interviewers in this country.
“GB News thanks him for his 12 months of leadership, wisdom and advice, and we wish him well.”
Mr Farage added: “I am pleased to say he is going to regularly appear here on my show.”
Mr Neil’s departure as chairman ends a tumultuous birth of what was trumpeted as an alternative form of television news broadcasting.
Aside from technical issues during the launch, big brands pulled advertising from the channel as a result of pressure from left wing activists. Many returned after Mr Neil berated them on air.