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India Willoughby sensationally quits GB News, accusing channel of ‘opening the gates of hell’ for trans people

Lily Wakefield June 23, 2021
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India Willoughby

India Willoughby. (Getty for Magic Mike Live/ David M Benett)

India Willoughby has refused to return as a commentator on GB News, accusing the news channel of “demonising trans people at every opportunity”.

Willoughby recently agreed to appear on the controversial news channel GB News as a commentator, appearing weekly on the panel of Tonight Live with Dan Wootton on Sunday nights.

GB News, which launched this month, was the first UK news channel to be set up with an explicit political leaning, according to the BBC, and it was something that appealed to Willoughby.

As a “patriotic” person with “right of centre” political views, she told PinkNews: “I was really looking forward to doing it… I thought it was going to be a breath of fresh air. I like debates.”

But the reality was not what she expected.

“It’s a monster,” she said. “It’s an absolute nightmare… For people like me, it’s opened the gates of hell.”

Although it only launched earlier this month, GB News has already platformed anti-trans voices like the LGB Alliance and Maya Forstater.

“I was really disappointed in the first week when I saw they were demonising trans people at every opportunity,” Willoughby said.

“Even me, everyone in the country knows that I will criticise certain LGBT+ issues. But while I criticise, I never demonise, and I don’t hate anyone. And this sickens me to the pit of my stomach.”

She went into Wootton’s show, after “a full week of anti-trans rhetoric”, “determined to put up a passionate defence”.

Her appearance started on a tense note when Wootton introduced her as “trans reporter India Willoughby”, to which she responded: “Well, it’s great to be on gay presenter Dan Wootton’s show.”

The panel covered various stories during the show, but eventually began to discuss the recent news that London’s private St Paul’s Girls’ School has replaced its “head girl” title with “head of school”.

The school had been clear that the change was requested by students themselves, and that although it was partly for reasons of non-binary inclusion, it was mainly because many of the students felt that they are young women rather than girls.

“As far as GB News was concerned”, Willoughby said, “it was about ‘nutty’ non-binary people. ‘Aren’t they crazy?’ That sort of thing. It was a joke.”

At that point, Willoughby had had enough.

She said: “I told Dan that I was sick to the teeth of all the anti-trans stuff. The fact that they weren’t giving people a fair crack of the whip, that it was all negative, [that] trans people were portrayed as dangerous.

“I don’t want any part of it. So I’m quitting. It’s GB for ‘goodbye from me’.”

What followed was a “heated debate” that lasted around 30 minutes, Willoughby said.

Becoming tearful, she added: “When you’re in that environment where the station generally is being quite upfront about the fact that they are anti-trans, they don’t believe people can change gender… It’s quite intimidating to be the only one. I felt I had to speak up.”

The episode of Tonight Live with Dan Wootton featuring Willoughby is not available on GB News’ website, despite others being available.

“The station that prides itself on free speech actually chopped my defence of trans people from the repeats, which is crazy and it goes against everything they stand for,” she claimed.

India Willoughby is ‘officially going woke’

Since quitting, India Willoughby has had to lock her Twitter account as she began receiving a barrage of hate – “People calling me ‘it’, ‘freak’, ‘thing’.”

Her experience, and the public reaction afterwards, has intensified her fears about “the future of trans people in Britain”, so much so that she has announced she is “officially going woke”.

“It’s almost like [anti-trans people] are trying to erase us,” she said.

“They don’t they don’t want any treatment for trans kids. They was an exception to the ban on conversion therapy to try and convert trans people.

“All the while professing: ‘Oh, we’re doing it to protect the children.’

“But when any of those children actually go on and transition, they will switch from protect, to attack.”

Willoughby added: “There is 100 per cent hostility in the press, except for the LGBT+ media… This is the first time ever, I felt unsafe in Britain.

“Because I think it’s crossed the tipping point. They have too much control, trans people have no voice whatsoever.”

Despite her public statement against GB News, Willoughby said she suspects the “rhetoric” around trans people on the channel will get worse, rather than better.

“When you start getting into the territory of [accusing] a whole group of people who have done nothing, who are totally innocent, of being dangerous or a risk to society in some way, and you’re crossing the line,” she said.

“My worry is that GB News are getting good audiences at the moment… Eventually, their audience is going to become immune to what GB News is putting out.

“They’re going to become desensitised to it, which means that GB News have got to hit those buttons harder, so the rhetoric will go up a notch… It’s becoming very dangerous.”

She added: “The sooner it goes bust, the better.”

PinkNews has approached GB News for comment.

Related topics: Dan Wootton, gb news, India Willoughby, lgb alliance, maya forstater, transphobia

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