GB News presenter Dan Wootton has admitted he has made “errors of judgement” but denied any criminality after allegations emerged that he offered colleagues tens of thousands of pounds in return for sexual material.
The broadcaster and former tabloid journalist told viewers on his nightly show he has been the “target” of a “smear campaign”.
The allegations, first reported by Byline Times, include that Wootton posed as a fictitious showbusiness agent called “Martin Branning” to offer sums of up to £30,000 “tax free” to co-workers in return for filming themselves carrying out sex acts. Byline Times added that an anonymous “trusted former colleague” of Wootton’s had come forward to say the GB News presenter used the Branning name.
The Guardian then reported that its staff had also been working on the Martin Branning story, but had so far been unable to “independently establish the link between Branning and Wootton”.
The publishers of The Sun and the Daily Mail, Wootton’s former employers, have confirmed they are also investigating the allegations.
In a monologue to open his show, Wootton said the allegations came from the “cesspit” of social media and that “dark forces” were trying to undermine GB News.
“These past few days I have been the target of a smear campaign by nefarious players with an axe to grind. I, like all fallible human beings, have made errors of judgement in the past. But the criminal allegations being made against me are simply untrue,” he said.
“I would like nothing more than to address those spurious claims. I could actually spend the next two hours doing so, but on the advice of my lawyers I cannot comment further.”
During his time at The Sun, Wootton “was known for breaking stories such as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepping down from royal duties”, said the BBC.
In 2021 he moved to GB News, where he “has developed a persona as a right-wing presenter criticising ‘woke’ issues”, said The Guardian.
A spokesperson for GB News said the broadcaster had no comment at this time.