Sky News host Chris Smith suspended after allegations of inappropriate behaviour at Christmas party

Company says ‘the welfare of our staff is our absolute priority’ and it will ‘take these allegations very seriously’

Sky News host Chris Smith has been suspended after accusations that he behaved inappropriately toward colleagues after the broadcaster’s Christmas party over the weekend.

Smith was with other Sky News Australia employees at The Establishment in Sydney. He reportedly joined colleagues at The Ivy Sunroom at midday on Saturday for the formal event before going on to The Establishment. After concerns about his behaviour were raised with senior executives, he was stood down immediately.

In a statement, the broadcaster said it was investigating the allegations.

“The person involved has been suspended while an investigation into the allegations is undertaken,” the spokesperson for Sky News said.

“The welfare of our staff is our absolute priority. We have a zero-tolerance approach to inappropriate conduct and take these allegations very seriously.”

This is not the first time Smith has been accused of behaving badly during a Christmas event. In 2009 he was stood down from his role on 2GB after allegedly groping a female colleague at a Christmas party.

Afterwards, he ran an apology in The Sunday Telegraph, blaming his behaviour on drinking and taking “the wrong antidepressants”.

“I was in a crazy extended drinking mode,” he said.

“That has happened to me a few times over the last decade – I just black out and that’s what happened. I’m not saying by any means that that’s an excuse. It’s not.”

Smith hosts Sky News Chris Smith Tonight on Sunday evenings and was expected to be given a regular spot next year hosting the 5pm program.

He was also expected to take over from Ben Fordham from Monday on the 2GB breakfast show but has been stood down.

“2GB has been made aware of serious allegations against Chris Smith, arising from the Sky News Christmas party,” a spokesperson for 2Gb said.

“Sky has advised they are conducting an investigation. Chris has been stood down from his duties at 2GB until the investigation has concluded.”

Smith has been contacted for comment.


Cait Kelly

The GuardianTramp

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