Nigel Farage takes swipe at Guto Harri following ‘taking the knee’ storm
Nigel Farage has taken a swipe at Guto Harri following a blazing row about taking the knee.
The former UKIP and Brexit Party leader criticised the Welsh broadcaster for making the anti-racism gesture while speaking on his new GB News show.
Farage, who does occasional broadcast work, had a dig at Harri for being a “part-time presenter” who made a “political gesture”.
Harri quit the ‘anti-woke’ channel after he was rebuked by bosses for taking the knee during a live discussion about racism towards England’s black footballers.
In a column for The Sunday Times, he called the channel an “absurd parody” that is pandering to the far right, adding that he faced a “tsunami of disappointment, resentment and hate” after his on-air gesture had offended the “lynch mob”.
Farage has been drafted in by the GB News following a slump in viewer figures. Some shows have recorded zero viewers.
He said: “And yes, there was a part-time presenter who made a political gesture that wouldn’t be allowed on any channel in the United Kingdom. And he’s gone – those are the negatives.”
At the beginning of his broadcast, he said: “Good evening, this is GB News and we are five weeks old. A fledgling in broadcasting terms.
“I’m sure you’ve read and seen some criticism of GB News, the sets are dull and black and boring. Well, have a look around, you can see things are changing.
“Some of the tech issues didn’t work on day one. Well, show me a broadcaster that ever launched that didn’t have some tech issues on day one but they’re improving too.”
In his resignation letter to GB News chief executive Angelos Frangopoulos, which was obtained by The Independent, Harri explains his reasons for quitting.
It says: “Before I took the knee on air I discussed it with my producer, director, co-presenters and head of newsroom.
“After I did it, GB News captured the moment and proactively cascaded it on social media.
“Two days later you told me you wanted me to take a break for the summer. You did not say you were briefing papers and issuing a statement that accused me of breaching your editorial standards.
“I asked you to change that on the night – pointing out it was defamatory. You ignored my texts and refused to take my calls.”