Andrew Neil hits out against 'woke warriors' trying to cancel GB News

Andrew Neil slams ‘woke warriors’ who are trying to cancel new GB News television channel before it starts after they launched sabotage campaign calling for boycott of its advertisers

  • Andrew Neil has hit back after a sabotage campaign against GB News channel
  • Activists are threatening to cancel phone contracts if firms pay for advertising
  • They are using hashtag ‘Don’tBackGBNews’ to attack the soon-to-launch channel
  • Critics claim it will ‘be like Fox News’, but experts believe it will be ‘right-leaning’

Andrew Neil has today slammed ‘woke warriors’ for trying to cancel his new GB News station before it even starts.

The former BBC presenter laid into activists after they launched a sabotage campaign against his soon-to-be-launched TV channel.

Twitter activists are urging firms not to advertise with the new station under the hashtag ‘Don’tBackGBNews’, because they fear the channel will be ‘like America’s Fox News’ – a comparison bosses have rejected.

And those backing the campaign, including equality campaigner Femi Oluwole, have threatened to cancel their phone contracts if companies such as EE and Vodafone pay for advertising spaces on the channel.

But Mr Neil, who is the chairman of GB News, has today hit out at those behind the campaign.

His comments come as he today described news debate in Britain as ‘increasingly woke and out of touch with the majority of its people’ in an interview with the Sunday Express.

In a tweet he said: ‘The woke warriors trying to stir up an advertising boycott of GB News, a channel that hasn’t even started broadcasting, are hilarious.


A furious Andrew Neil (pictured left) has slammed ‘woke warriors’ for trying to cancel his new GB News station before it even gets started. Those backing the campaign, including equality campaigner Femi Oluwole (pictured right), have threatened to cancel their phone contracts if companies such as EE and Vodafone pay for advertising slots on the channel

‘Even funnier is their threat to cancel mobile phone contracts of operators who dare to advertise on GB News. 

Andrew Neil says news debate in Britain ‘is increasingly woke and out of touch with the majority of its people’. 

Andrew Neil has today described Britain’s news debate as ‘increasingly woke’ and ‘out of touch with the majority of its people’.

The former BBC presenter, who is to head up the soon-to-be-launched GB News Channel, said the news agenda was also ‘too southern and too middle-class’.

Speaking to the Sunday Express about the new channel, he said: ‘I believe our national conversation has become too metropolitan, too southern and too middle-class.

‘Some journalists and commentators seem too confident that their liberal-left assumptions must surely be shared by every sensible person in the land.

‘But many of those same sensible people are fed up. They feel left out and unheard.’

‘I mean have they ever tried to cancel a mobile contract?! But GB News will be ready to help. We will campaign for easier cancellation.’

The row erupted last night when campaign group Stop Funding Hate – previously criticised as a ‘hard-left censorship group’ – urged people to join the hashtag Don’tFund GB news.  

The group, founded a former Amnesty International worker, said on Twitter: ‘If you want to help stop ‘Fox News style’ TV in Britain: ‘Tweet your mobile phone company using the hashtag #DontFundGBNews

‘Urge them not to advertise with GB News or any ‘Fox News style’ channel, & explain why this matters to you.’

GB News officials have repeatedly hit back at the Fox News comparison, with most industry experts expecting the channel to be ‘right-leaning’ but than right wing.   

The hashtag was backed by Mr Oluwole, a political activist and co-founder of the pro-European Union advocacy group Our Future Our Choice, tweeted EE to threaten to quit their network if they advertise with GB News.   

He said: ‘Hi EE, I was on Orange since I started using mobile phones and switched to you almost as soon as you took them over.

‘But I will switch service provider immediately if I hear of one EE advert placed on that channel. #DontFundGBNews.’

But while the Tweet received support from some, many quickly criticised his backing of the campaign, saying it amounted to ‘mass censorship’.

One Twitter user said: ‘Democracy to the far left is now a mix of mass censorship, persecution and an absolute intolerance of hearing an viewpoint that is different to their own.

‘But all the time they project how ‘inclusive’ they are. A very dangerous form of hypocrisy.’  

But Mr Oluwole later hit back in a follow-up tweet, saying: ‘The irony is: Nobody is talking about actually censoring GB News.

‘I talked about simply refusing to pay them via their advertisers.

‘And Right-wingers gave me so much abuse I twitter-trended for 6hrs! Apparently consumer choice isn’t a freedom these people respect. #DontFundGBNews.’

Bosses behind GB News aim to rival BBC and Sky as well as to reach those who feel ‘underserved and unheard’ by the media.

Mr Neil will be the face and chairman of GB News, after ending his relationship with the BBC, where he has been one of the most respected political interviewers. 

Sun journalist Dan Wootton, who broke the story of Megxit, will also join the news channel.

Mr Wootton will host a daily show, five days a week, on GB News. 

The channel has earned comparisons to American right-wing news outlet Fox News due to its format, which will feature ‘news anchors with a bit of edge’. Other comparisons have included a TV-version of radio version LBC.

But bosses say the channel, which will be regulated by Ofcom, will remain ‘impartial’. Chief Executive Angelos Frangopoulos said last month that ‘we are committed to impartial journalism’. 

Meanwhile, Mr Neil told The Spectator: ‘I am as neutral and as impartial as anybody on the BBC.

‘I come from a different political tradition but I don’t let that affect how I do interviews.’  

It comes as Mr Neil today described Britain’s news debate as ‘increasingly woke’ and ‘out of touch with the majority of its people’. 

Speaking to the Sunday Express about the new channel, he said: ‘I believe our national conversation has become too metropolitan, too southern and too middle-class.

‘Some journalists and commentators seem too confident that their liberal-left assumptions must surely be shared by every sensible person in the land.

‘But many of those same sensible people are fed up. They feel left out and unheard.’

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