Tory civil war erupts over GB News with fury at MP who wants it taken off air
Caroline Nokes says GB News should be ‘taken off air’
Conservative MP and GB News host Philip Davies has blasted his colleague Caroline Nokes for demanding the channel is “taken off air” in a row which threatens to fuel the civil war between factions of Tory MPs.
Ms Nokes, chair of the Commons Women and Equalities Committee, made her comments on Newsnight where she also falsely claimed that she had never appeared on the channel.
It quickly emerged that she had appeared on GB News just two weeks ago.
She made her demand that the watchdog Ofcom takes GB News off the air in the wake of Laurence Fox and Dan Wootten being suspended over sexual comments made about the journalist Ava Evans.
Ms Nokes has long been seen as the most leftwing Tory MP by many of her colleagues and it appeared that she was criticising her more rightwing colleagues Esther McVey, Philip Davies, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Lee Anderson for having shows on GB News.
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READ MORE: Senior Tory MP demands GB News be taken off air over Laurence Fox row
In a dig at her colleagues, Ms Nokes said: “I don’t go on any of their shows because to be frank, from my perspective, if you’re an MP you have a day job to do getting on with the work that you have in the House of Commons and not swanning off, in some cases several times a week, to present a show on a television channel”.
She claimed that “Ofcom deserves a bit of time and space to do its job” investigating GB News and it “should be taken off air.”
Her comments and the Newsnight show have provoked a huge backlash.
Shipley MP Philip Davies questioned why Nokes had never been so forthright about the BBC when it has been engulfed by scandals.
He said: “Caroline is perfectly entitled to her opinion. However, I can’t recall her saying the BBC should be taken off air after Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross’ pre-recorded disgusting message to Andrew Sachs, nor after the Jimmy Savile scandal which led to the resignation of Director General George Entwistle.
“I think that rather startling lack of consistency somewhat undermines her argument.”
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Lee Anderson did not respond directly to Nokes’s comments but made a point of Tweeting that he will be having an exclusive interview with another Tory MP Suella Braverman tomorrow.
Conservative commentator Nile Gardiner, director of the Margaret Thatcher Center at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, also hit out at her comments.
He said: “Conservatives do not call for the shutting down of TV stations in a free society. London is not Beijing or Tehran.
“The Orwellian comments from Caroline Nokes should be disowned by the Prime Minister.”
The Conservative Post said: “Conservatives do not call for the shutting down of TV stations in a free society Caroline Nokes.”
GB News presenter Martin Daubney posted links of different occasions of Ms Nokes appearing on his show.
But the under fire Tory MP did get support from former Countdown star Carol Vorderman who has recently been attacking Conservative MPs but claimed Ms Nokes was “speaking sense”.
Meanwhile, the Newsnight show itself has provoked the ire of many for failing to contain any balance.
All three guests wanted GB News taken off air including Adam Boulton who works for Sky News which has lost viewers to its new rival.
GB News commentator Darren Grimes was one of many to contact the watchdog Ofcom to complain the BBC had broken impartiality rules.
He noted: “It is particularly concerning that the segment called for the silencing of a media outlet, GB News, which is a competitor to the BBC.
“This does more than raise questions about impartiality; it treads dangerous ground, bordering on anti-competitive behavior.”
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