Lord Adoniss demand Andrew Neil was sacked for being too pro-Brexit unveiled

Andrew Neil clashes with Kenny MacAskill on independence

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Britain officially left the EU’s transition period on January 1, 2020 – more than three years after the referendum and after almost half a century of eurosceptic frustration. However, pro-EU campaigners are already pushing for the country to reapply for membership of the bloc. Lord Andrew Adonis, a former minister under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, leads the European Movement UK.

Speaking to Patrick Christys on talkRADIO this week, Lord Adonis openly called for Brexit to be reversed.

He said: “Our trade with the EU has fallen much more than the rest of the world, that’s the Brexit effect.

“The situation is very grim. I want nothing but good for this country.

“That’s why I’ve always wanted us to lead, not leave, Europe.

“That’s still my view. Gordon Brown says the slogan we should have fought for over the last five years was to lead, not leave.”

The Labour peer was immediately condemned by eurosceptic figures, such as former Brexit Party MEP Ann Widdecombe.

It is not the first time his pro-EU views stir controversy, though.

In 2017, Lord Adonis was heavily criticised after demanding the BBC sack its then-politics presenter Andrew Neil for being too pro-Brexit.

He tweeted that he would be writing to the BBC’s former director-general Lord Hall to allege “systematic pro-Brexit bias” and to object to him carrying out interviews.

Tory MP Julian Knight tweeted back: “Adonis entitled to say that he’s unhappy with BBC reporting if he wants but it’s chilling when a politician attacks an individual journalist.”

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Former Conservative Minister Ed Vaizey said the demand was “ridiculous” – adding that Mr Neil was the “best interviewer there is”.

And even Lionel Barber, editor of the staunchly europhile Financial Times, said Mr Neil should have stayed in his post.

He said: “I vote Andrew Neil to remain – one of the very best interviewers we have in Brexit Britain.”

At the time, Mr Neil was in the process of renegotiating his BBC contract.

Less than two years later, the Scottish journalist ended up leaving the broadcaster after 25 years.

His new “anti-woke” news channel, GB News, launched on June 13.

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The channel did not seem to get off to a good start, though, as it saw the withdrawal of advertising from companies such as Ikea, cider firm Kopparberg and Octopus Energy.

GB News has faced accusations it will be broadcasting US-style partisan news shows in the UK, and campaign group Stop Funding Hate challenged advertisers on social media.

Speaking on his Mediawatch show, Mr Neil said Stop Funding Hate activists were “bigots bent on censorship” who had launched their campaign to bring down GB News four months ago, and warned they “push for advertiser boycotts of any media organisation with which it disagrees”.

He claimed “woke nonsense has reached the boardroom” and accused corporations who had agreed to pull their adverts this week of “becoming the useful idiot of bigots bent on censorship”.

He added it was “quite remarkable that serious executives and well-established companies can be so easily cowed”.

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