What is going on with Dan Wootton as MailOnline suspends his column

What is going on with Dan Wootton as MailOnline suspends his column
Dan Wootton addresses 'smear campaign' allegations

GB News presenter Dan Wootton has been suspended by the MailOnline amid an investigation into accusations he used fake online identities to trick men into sending him sexually explicit images in exchange for tens of thousands of pounds.

Last month,the Byline Times claimed he pretended to be a man named Martin Branning to trick the men, but Wootton denied the claims.

The publication claimed two victims made criminal complaints to the Metropolitan Police, based on Branning’s activities since 2019.

Following this, today a spokesperson for DMG media, the parent company of MailOnline, confirmed Wootton would not be working for them for the foreseeable future.

A statement read: “We are continuing to consider a series of allegations which Dan Wootton – who has written columns for MailOnline since 2021 as one of several outside freelance contributors – has strenuously denied.

“The allegations are obviously serious but also complex and historic and there is an independent investigation under way at the media group which employed him during the relevant period.

"In the meantime, his freelance column with MailOnline has been paused.”

Contacted by The Independent following the initial publication of the Byline Times report, Scotland Yard said: “In June 2023, the Metropolitan Police was contacted with regards to allegations of sexual offences committed by a man.

“Officers are assessing information to establish whether any criminal offence has taken place. There is no police investigation at this time.”

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Dan Wootton addresses 'smear campaign' allegations GB News

The broadcaster, who anchors the Dan Wootton Tonight programme on GB News, writes a column for MailOnline, and has previously been an editor for Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World, rejected the allegations as “simply untrue” and a “campaign to destroy my life”, in a segment at the start of his Tuesday night show when the allegations were made.

In a long statement, he said: “These past few days I have been the target of a smear campaign by nefarious players with an axe to grind.”

He added: “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.

“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.

“But I have been thinking much over the past few days about the current state of social media, where any allegation can be made in an attempt to get someone cancelled, but it is impossible to defend yourself against thousands of trolls.”

Wootton is also under investigation by his former employers at Rupert Murdoch’s News UK, where he worked for more than a decade as a celebrity journalist.

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