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Culture secretary Oliver Dowden welcomes launch of GB News channel

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden welcomes launch of GB News channel
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Culture secretary Oliver Dowden says that he welcomes the arrival of GB News, a new news channel headed up by veteran broadcaster Andrew Neil.

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden has given his backing to the launch of new news channel GB News next year.

After months of rumours, confirmation of the new channel arrived last week with the announcement that the veteran broadcaster Andrew Neil has been appointed as chairman of the new venture.

GB News, which has backing from Discovery, is being positioned as an alternative to the perceived "mainstream" narrative of established outlets such as Sky News, ITV and the BBC and intends to take an inherently less cynical approach to dealing with the government.

Asked if he welcomes GB News, Dowden told Sophy Ridge On Sunday: "I think one of the huge strengths of the United Kingdom's broadcasting scene, and indeed its newspaper scene, is a tremendous plurality and diversity.

"We often take this for granted but we're so lucky in the UK to have for example, newspapers that range from The Guardian right through to The Telegraph and the Daily Mail - no other country in the world has that kind of diversity and it is at the absolute heart of our press freedoms in this nation, similarly with broadcasting.

"We're blessed with brilliant broadcasters - whether it's you here with Sky News, or the BBC, many other different ranges of channels and I welcome any new entrant to it."

GB News is aiming to launch via Freeview, Sky and cable in the New Year.

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