Channel 4 news anchor Krishnan Guru-Murthy has been taken off air for a week after he was caught on tape calling Tory MP Steve Baker as a "c-." The network confirmed Thursday that the presenter has been suspended from presenting duties in response to the incident. Due to a pre-existing week of leave, Guru-Murthy will not return to Channel 4 until after Nov. 4.
"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," Louisa Compton, Head of News and Current Affairs and Specialist Factual at Channel 4, said in a statement shared via a press release and Twitter. "Following an off-air incident Channel 4 News anchor Krishnan Guru-Murthy has been taken off air for a week."
Guru-Murthy's week-long suspension comes after he was heard on audio swearing at Baker. The presenter had been broadcasting from Downing Street at the time and interviewed Baker, during which the two discussed Liz Truss's government and the chaos that erupted at a crucial Commons vote on the future of fracking in UK, during which more than 40 Conservative MPs decided not to back Truss's government. After the interview, and as Baker was walking away, Guru-Murthy was heard on audio saying, "it wasn't a stupid question, Steve, you know it. I'm very happy to go up against you on Truss any day," later adding, "what a c-." The remarks were not broadcast live and were instead picked up on a livestream.
Following the incident, Guru-Murthy apologized. In a Wednesday evening tweet, he wrote, "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."
Guru-Murthy has not publicly commented on his suspension from Channel 4 at this time. Per his Channel 4 biography, Guru-Murthy began his broadcasting career at just 18 when he presented youth television for the BBC. He went on to present, report, and produce a variety of programs from Newsround to Newsnight before joining Channel 4 in 1998. He is one of the main anchors of Channel 4 News and also fronts the Channel 4 News' podcast Ways to Change the World, and also serves as a commentator on major live events for Channel 4, including the Paralympics Ceremonies.