Northern Ireland secretary Steve Baker calls for sacking of Krishnan Guru-Murthy after swearing incident

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The news anchor called the Northern Ireland minister “a c***” during a livestream on Wednesday night.

Channel 4 news anchor Krishnan Guru-Murthy has apologised to Tory minister Steve Baker for calling him “a c***” during a livestream on Wednesday 19 October.

Guru-Murthy had just finished what he described as a “robust interview” with Baker when he made the remarks in “an unguarded moment”.

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Krishnan Guru-Murthy will helm the first Conservative leadership debate on Channel 4.Krishnan Guru-Murthy will helm the first Conservative leadership debate on Channel 4.
Krishnan Guru-Murthy will helm the first Conservative leadership debate on Channel 4.

The swearing was not broadcast live on Channel 4 but could be heard on a separate livestream, with the presenter later tweeting: “After a robust interview with Steve Baker MP I used a very offensive word in an unguarded moment off air.”

He continued: “While it was not broadcast that word in any context is beneath the standards I set myself and I apologise unreservedly. I have reached out to Steve Baker to say sorry.”

Baker replied to the tweet saying: “I appreciate you apologising. Thank you.” However, the Northern Ireland minister took a decidedly different tone when appearing on Times Radio later last night, saying he hopes Channel 4 sack the broadcaster, and added it “would be a service to the public.”

Baker told John Pienaar on Times Radio: “I had an interview earlier with a journalist I don’t have a great deal of regard for, who I felt always misrepresenting the situation through the construction of his question, which I called out, I think live on air, or I thought it was a pre-record.

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“And he clearly didn’t like that, quite right, too. But I’d be quite honest, I spent a long time live on air, calling him out on his conduct as a journalist and glad to do so any time.

He added: “But it’s most unfortunate that he has sworn on air like that. If it’s in breach of his code of conduct, I do hope they sack him – it would be a service to the public.”

The incident was part of a wider day of chaos in government, with Home Secretary Suella Braverman quitting from her post to be replaced by centrist Grant Shapps and both the Tory chief whip and deputy chief whip reportedly resigning before it was later briefed that they were still in the job.

The government defeated a Labour motion attempting to ban fracking by 230 votes to 326, amid allegations that Conservative MPs were being “bullied” and “manhandled” into voting down the motion by Labour MP Chris Bryant.

An investigation has since been launched by Speaker Lindsay Hoyle into the allegations of improper behaviour amongst the Tory ranks on Wednesday night.

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