By Joe Coughlan, Local Democracy Reporter
A council will not rule out further appearances of its councillors on GB News, despite the station coming under fire for recent comments made by ex-presenter Laurence Fox.
Bromley council leader Colin Smith said at a meeting on Monday that councillors will not be asked to stop appearing on the channel, following a series of comments being made against the station last month.
The statement came after Liberal Democrat councillor Chloe-Jane Ross asked Cllr Smith whether he would ask councillors to stop appearing on GB News.
The request came after presenter Mr Fox made several sexist comments directed at journalist Ava Evans, which Cllr Ross described as “disgusting” and “misogynistic”.
Mr Fox has since been fired by GB News following the broadcast on September 26, which reportedly led to more than 8,000 complaints being sent to Ofcom.
Cllr Smith has appeared on GB News at several points throughout the year to comment on Bromley council’s opposition against the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) expansion. Conservative councillor Simon Fawthrop also went on the station to oppose the expansion in July.
The council leader said at the meeting: “We believe in free speech within the bounds of the law on the side of the chamber, and we will continue to appear through any legally approved broadcasting medium if and when invited to do so.”
Cllr Smith also said he was surprised to receive the question on misogyny following the “vulgar and utterly tasteless” comments of Lib Dem party leader Ed Davey at the party’s conference last month.
After previously referring to members of the Conservative Party as clowns, the party leader said in his speech that he “used the wrong c-word”, before claiming he meant to call the group “Conservatives”.
Cllr Smith also criticised the lack of an apology from the Lib Dem leader to the female MPs representing the Conservative Party, and contrasted it with the swift suspension of Mr Fox by GB News.
Regarding the broadcast on September 26, Cllr Ross said at the meeting: “Obviously I was pretty outraged that day. This is about standards, standards of public life for all of us as councillors.”
A GB News spokesman said: “GB News does not tolerate misogyny or personal insults, and we never have. The remark did not align with our values, which is why the presenter involved was immediately suspended and subsequently dismissed.
“We believe diversity of opinion should never be at the expense of personal insults or abuse. Certainly, it has no place at GB News.”
A Liberal Democrat spokesman said: “The Liberal Democrats are crystal clear that we want to get these Conservatives out of Number 10.
“The real question is when will the Conservative Party apologise to the British people for pumping filthy sewage in our rivers, wrecking the economy and breaking our NHS.”
Pictured top: Bromley Civic Centre, in Stockwell Close (Picture: Joe Coughlan)
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