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February 21, 2024updated 29 Feb 2024 11:15am

Dan Wootton police investigations dropped, says presenter

Wootton had been under investigation by the Metropolitan and Scottish Police.

By PA Media and Bron Maher

Suspended GB News presenter Dan Wootton has said he is no longer under investigation by two police forces, who will take no further action after criminal investigations into him.

The New Zealand-born broadcaster said in a statement issued by his lawyer: “I have now been completely cleared in two investigations by the Metropolitan and Scottish Police, who have confirmed they will be taking no further action.

“While I knew this would always be the outcome, the process is now the punishment, with social media acting as the executioner.

“Margaret Thatcher once said that if you ever get trial by media, or guilt by accusation, that day freedom dies.

“She was right. It is high time that all of our ancient rights were once again upheld, chief among them the right to be presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law.

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“If it falls to me to be the champion of those rights, then so be it. It is a fight I am more than willing to take up, not just for me but for all of us.”

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The police investigations related to a series of claims about Wootton’s behaviour published by Byline Times beginning in July last year. The Guardian, Daily Mirror and Newsquest’s The National removed stories reporting some of the claims after legal warnings were made by a representative for Wootton, Press Gazette understands.

Former tabloid journalist Wootton is known for his role in breaking the story of the withdrawal of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex from royal duties, and was named showbiz reporter of the year at the British Press Awards on three occasions.

He was previously showbiz editor at the News of the World and appeared on ITV’s Lorraine as showbiz correspondent.

Wootton announced in January 2021 that he would be leaving his job as executive editor at The Sun, where he previously edited the paper’s Bizarre column and won a libel battle with actor Johnny Depp, and subsequently became a regular columnist for Mail Online.

He was suspended from his role as a presenter on GB News after a row over comments made by actor-turned-politician Laurence Fox about a female journalist.

Wootton also had his contract as a columnist with the Daily Mail terminated at the same time.

GB News declined to comment on whether Wootton could be expected back on air at the opinion-led channel. The Metropolitan Police have been approached for confirmation of Wootton’s claim.

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Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
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