Andrew Neil has admitted that he would probably not have launched GB News if the BBC had treated him with more respect.

The broadcasting veteran left the corporation last year after his eponymous interview show was cancelled and Politics Live was taken off air.

He threw his energies into GB News, which launches on Sunday as a rival to mainstream news channels.

Asked by Radio Times whether he would have left the BBC if management there had shown “greater loyalty” to him, Neil replied: “Probably not, no. What they did was unnecessary and I left with a heavy heart. There was almost no contact with me whatsoever, which did rankle, but what’s done is done.”

Neil said that Tim Davie had “made a lot of effort” to keep him after taking over as director-general from Lord Hall in September, but by then the plans for GB News were already in motion.

Explaining what would set the channel apart, Neil said: “If you close your eyes and listen to Sky, BBC or even ITV news you’re not sure which one you’re listening to. They’re roughly the same voices with the same approach to stories.

“I hope we’ll be a bit of an insurgent and stir things up and actually improve what’s already available.”

Neil also disclosed that he is “in good discussions” with Piers Morgan about joining the line-up. Morgan left ITV’s Good Morning Britain after a row over his comments about the Duchess of Sussex.