News boss who branded Boris Johnson a ‘liar’ stepping down
- Credit: PA
The boss of Channel 4 News is stepping down after 17 years in the role, months after calling out politicians who tell lies.
Dorothy Byrne, who was born in Paisley and raised in Blackpool, made headlines when she used last year's prestigious MacTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh TV Festival to attack politicians who avoided public scrutiny and abusive men in the media.
In remarks that were said to infuriate Downing Street, she asked: 'What do we do when a known liar becomes our prime minister?'
Byrne later defended the remarks on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, saying: 'My job is to speak truth to power and my concern about politicians not telling the truth is not some eccentric view of my own - it is one shared by the British people.'
She will take on a new role for one year from May 1, developing new factual podcast and sustainability strategies, and mentoring staff across the channel.
You may also want to watch:
Byrne will continue to contribute towards programme ideas but will not take an active commissioning role.
She said in a statement: 'The last year has been one of great success for Channel 4 News and Current Affairs and for me personally so it's the perfect time for me to step aside and give someone else the pleasure of the best job in television.
- 1 Boris Johnson warned majority will be 'wiped out' over treatment towards north of England
- 2 Boris Johnson 'frantically repositioning' himself for Donald Trump to lose election
- 3 UKIP set to select 'Dr Gammons' as candidate for London mayoral election
- 4 James Cleverly mocked after telling people to 'look at how they're doing in Wales'
- 5 Piers Morgan must expose the government's Brexit betrayal
- 6 Minister says Dido Harding is working '19-hours a day' on Test and Trace
- 7 Third Tory MP who rejected extending free school meals is targeted with local protests
- 8 Second shop owner bans Tory MPs who voted against free school meals motion
- 9 Brexiteer Prue Leith quits Tory Party after government votes down motion to protect UK food standards
- 10 Piers Morgan calls Boris Johnson a 'blustering buffoon' in attack on PM's handling of Covid-19 pandemic
'I will continue to contribute to the creative life of the channel.
'I am also very excited to be working to help develop the careers of staff, particularly of women, at the channel and also to be playing a key role in the creation of a new sustainability policy for Channel 4.'
Channel 4 director of programmes Ian Katz said: 'No British media executive has done as much to shape the coverage of news and current affairs on television as Dorothy.
'Over more than 15 years she has been the restless force behind agenda-setting Channel 4 programming from the exposing of war crimes in Sri Lanka and Myanmar to the recent laying bare of Michael Jackson's child sexual abuse.
'She has a laser-like eye for a story, huge creative flair and Channel 4 DNA running through her like rock.
'I'm so pleased that she will be staying at the channel for another year in her new role as editor-at-large.'
The news comes weeks after Tory MPs claimed Boris Johnson had privately confirmed his intention to sell off Channel 4.
The Sunday Express reported one Conservative politician as saying: 'Boris has privately confirmed that he will definitely privatise Channel 4. He thinks it's a great idea. There is no business for the public to own it anyway'.
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.