"Channel 4 has a strict code of conduct for all its employees"
Krishnan Guru-Murthy has been suspended by Channel 4 for one week after he was recorded making an offensive comment off-camera about the Northern Ireland minister Steve Baker.
The presenter had an interview with Mr Baker about Suella Braverman’s decision to step down as Home Secretary.
Following the interview, the live feed switched to Downing Street.
Believing he was off-air, Guru-Murthy was heard saying to Mr Baker:
“It wasn’t a stupid question, Steve, you know it. I’m very happy to go up against you on [PM Liz] Truss any day. What a c**t.”
His comments were picked up by livestream broadcasts.
Channel 4 have now confirmed that Guru-Murthy will be taken off presenting duties for a week.
In a statement, the broadcaster said:
“Channel 4 has a strict code of conduct for all its employees, including its programming teams and on-air presenters, and takes any breaches seriously.
“Following an off-air incident, Channel 4 News anchor Krishnan Guru-Murthy has been taken off air for a week.”
Krishnan Guru-Murthy will not return to Channel 4 News before November 4 due to a pre-existing week of leave.
Referring to the incident, Mr Baker told Times Radio that it was an “unfortunate” mishap, saying:
“I had an interview earlier with a journalist I don’t have a great deal of regard for who I felt was 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.
“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.
“But it’s most unfortunate that he’s 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.”
After a robust interview with Steve Baker MP I used a very offensive word in an unguarded moment off air. 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
— Krishnan Guru-Murthy (@krishgm) October 19, 2022
Krishnan Guru-Murthy apologised to Mr Baker on Twitter.
“After a robust interview with Steve Baker MP I used a very offensive word in an unguarded moment off air.”
“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.”
Mr Baker replied: “I appreciate you apologising. Thank you.”
Although Channel 4 have taken the presenter off-air for a week, some of Mr Baker’s Tory colleagues demanded Guru-Murthy’s resignation.