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The government is the biggest spender on GB News advertising, spending more than £1 million of UK taxpayer cash on almost 10,500 ads since the channel launched in summer 2021, according to an investigation by Byline Times.

The right-wing channel, which is facing a number of investigations by media regulator Ofcom and which has platformed bigoted and racist views as well as conspiracy theories, has been receiving government cash for the placement of adverts.

According to the investigation by Byline: “Analysis of advertising figures from Barb – an organisation which compiles audience measurement and television ratings – gives a breakdown of the type and number of GB News commercials funded by UK taxpayers, and their associated costs.

“Since July 2021, the Government’s biggest outlay has been £152,000 on 1,198 adverts promoting cancer screening, £132,000 on 1,180 ads for ‘Help for Households’, and £127,000 on 802 commercials promoting teacher recruitment.

“Around £146,000 has been spent trying to recruit youngsters into careers in the Navy (£48,00 on 824 adverts), the Army (£45,000 / 1,008), the Royal Marines (£36,000 / 491) and the RAF (£17,000 / 440).”

That the government is giving cash to GB News has caused concern, with one social media user writing: “Who is the biggest advertiser on #GBNews? Answer is the UK Government. Funding & subsidising the echo chambers of the hard right & poisoning & polluting public life.”

Carol Vorderman posted on X: “Where is our money going? On ads on GB News

UK Tory Govt is biggest advertiser on GB News, spending more than £1 million of our taxpayer’s money on ads @BylineTimes

“So when that tax is coming out of your pay packet, think about that.”

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

The post Government spends more than £1 million of UK taxpayer money to advertise on GB News appeared first on Left Foot Forward: Leading the UK’s progressive debate.


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