Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

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Dan Wootton and Laurence Fox “have got to be kept off air”, according to former prime minister Gordon Brown.

Speaking to the Politics Hub with Sophy Ridge, Mr Brown also called for regulator Ofcom to be given more “teeth”.

Both Wootton and Fox have been taken off air by GB News following comments made by the latter on the former’s show last night.

Politics latest: Ex-PM Gordon Brown faces questions from Sophy Ridge

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Speaking about female PoliticsJOE journalist Ava Evans, Fox said: “Who would want to shag that?”

GB News said in a statement that it was conducting an investigation into the incident.

Speaking to Sophy this afternoon, Mr Brown likened the incident to when Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand prank called Andrew Sachs.

He said: “Well, I criticised Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross when similar remarks were made almost 15 years ago, and it led to changes in the way programmes were done at that time.

“But I think we’ve got to look very carefully at GB News and all these broadcast companies that are emerging, because we’ve got a far wider range of broadcasters and the system of regulation is not good enough to cope with it.

“So Ofcom needs to have more teeth to deal with standards, issues of standards, and of course you’ve got this amazing situation now, you’ve got internet, you’ve got television, you’ve got newspapers and you have a completely different system of regulation for each of them.

“But everybody is influenced by all these social media at the same time, so I think you’ve got to standardise some of the regulation, and certainly you cannot allow people to appear on air and talk about women in the way that they are doing, without any propriety.

“These people have got to be kept off the air – this cannot be allowed.

“I’m not in favour of censorship, but you cannot have this fall in standards and allow it to continue.”

Read more:
Who is Laurence Fox?
What did he say about Ava Evans on GB News?

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‘I didn’t ask to be put into this story’

In a wide-ranging interview, Mr Brown was also asked about the approval of new oil drilling in the North Sea.

He said taking advantage of the Rosebank field was better than importing oil from foreign countries – but more needs to be done alongside “a plan to cut carbon emissions”.

Mr Brown also said decision makers “have got to bear in mind that there are livelihoods also dependent on what happens in the North Sea.

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Asked about Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s comments about a need to change the asylum system, Mr Brown said the important thing is to support “economic development” in poorer countries to improve the quality of life there.

He also called for a complete review of the universal credit – including the two-child cap.

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