UK’s GB News sacks activist Laurence Fox over sexist comments

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s GB News channel sacked actor-turned-political activist Laurence Fox on Wednesday after it said comments he made about a female journalist on air were “completely unacceptable”.

The 45-year-old member of Britain’s Fox acting dynasty was a guest on presenter Dan Wootton’s evening show last month when he made demeaning sexual remarks about journalist Ava Evans.

Evans said on social media the comments had made her feel “physically sick”.

The TV channel, which launched in 2021 with a mix of news, opinion and analysis that is closer to U.S. networks like Fox News than its British rivals, initially suspended Fox as well as Wootton, who had made no attempt to challenge his guest’s views.

It also apologised, saying Fox’s comments were “totally unacceptable and did not reflect its values”.

Fox released a video in which he said sorry to Evans.

GB News said it had ended its “employment relationship” with Fox and presenter Calvin Robinson, who had supported Fox online.

It said its investigation into Wootton was ongoing.

Separately on Wednesday, Fox, who has opposed the expansion of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), posted a video of police searching his house. The populist political party Reclaim he leads said on social media he had been arrested.

A spokesperson for London’s Metropolitan Police said officers had arrested a 45-year-old man on suspicion of conspiring to commit criminal damage to ULEZ cameras and encouraging or assisting offences to be committed.

Britain’s broadcasting regulator launched an investigation into Wootton’s show after receiving more than 7,000 complaints.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)