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Writer and broadcaster Guto Harri has quit GB News following a suspension from the network for taking the knee on air.
The right-wing news network launched at the end of May and was set to rival the likes of Sky News and BBC News.
Guto Harri was suspended by GB News bosses after he took the knee during a discussion about racism in football on air. The network said this 'breached their standards' and Harri had been taken off air for the rest of the summer.
Harri first appeared on GB News on 20th June.
An hour to go till my first show @GBNEWS Thrilled to be joined by @Welshgatland from the @lionsofficial training camp @MarkLabbett from LA with @DavidDavisMP on set and many others - looking ahead to a week in politics, business and sport pic.twitter.com/buLGA3SmKt
- Guto Harri (@Guto_Harri) June 20, 2021
"GB News stands four square against racism in all its forms," GB News said on Twitter.
"We do not have a company line on taking the knee. Some of our guests have been in favour, some against. All are anti-racist.
"We have editorial standards that all GB News journalists uphold.
"On Tuesday a contributing presenter took the knee live on air and this was an unacceptable breach of our standards.
"We let both sides of the argument down by oversimplifying a very complex issue."
Harri defended his actions and tweeted: "GB News is - above all - about free speech; having the debates others won't.
"English footballers have made it clear that when they take the knee they are making a clear statement about rejecting racism (not endorsing the narrow divisive aims of BLM). I support them."
Guto Harri is a Welsh writer, broadcaster and strategic communications consultant. He was a correspondent for BBC News for 18 years and was an advisor to Boris Johnson when he was the Mayor of London between 2008-2012.
Born in Cardiff, Harri studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at The Queen's College, Oxford, followed by a postgraduate diploma in broadcast journalism from Cardiff University.
Harri has been married to his wife, Shireen, since 2000 and they have three children together.
Lashing out at GB News on Sunday (18th July), the 55-year-old said the network was "rapidly becoming an absurd parody of what it proclaimed to be."
Harri formally resigned from GB News following the disciplinary action.
In a resignation letter seen by The Guardian, Harri explained:
"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. I now see that you've hired Nigel Farage who immediately declared in public that he will not be taking the knee.
"Please explain how that does not breach editorial standards but I did."
Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage is set to host a new prime-time show on GB News.
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