Alastair Stewart steps back from GB News for medical reasons

Alastair Stewart has announced he is taking a break from his GB News show after breaking his hip.

The former ITV presenter, 69, anchors a programme called Alastair Stewart And Friends on the new channel, featuring conversation and analysis of current affairs.

It comes amid reports the channel’s director of news and programmes, John McAndrew, has stepped down and a presenter, Guto Harri, has been taken off air.

Stewart said on Twitter he would be stepping back from the show after being knocked over by a horse.

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He wrote: “I won’t be hosting #AlastairStewartAndFriends on @GBNEWS this weekend due to……. a broken hip! I fear it’ll be a while but I’ll be back!!!

“Thanks for kindness & support to all at @GBNEWS, the brilliant Anita @AnitaLandLtd & my extraordinary family…”

In a second post he disclosed how he was hurt, writing: “I was leading in one of the horses & she bolted, knocking me over – rather forcefully!”

GB News, chaired by political interviewer Andrew Neil, has positioned itself as a rival to the news and current affairs offerings from the traditional broadcasters.

Neil is also absent from the channel after announcing a break two weeks into its launch.

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Presenter Harri has been taken off air after the channel said he breached its “standards” by taking the knee on air in support of England’s footballers, according to The Guardian.

On Thursday, GB News apologised after Harri made the gesture while discussing the racial abuse suffered by members of the national side following their loss to Italy in the Euro 2020 final.

A statement from GB News on Twitter said: “GB News stands four square against racism in all its forms. 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.”