BBC political presenter Andrew Neil has announced he is leaving the BBC after 25 years of service.

Andrew Neil, 71, has said it is "with heavy heart" that he is to leave the broadcaster, after the Andrew Neil Show was cancelled earlier this year and Politics Live was taken off air. 

The veteran journalist, from Paisley, has contributed to This Week, The Economist, The Spectator, Sky TV and the BBC among other credits. 

Most recently he presented Politics Live and The Andrew Neil Show on BBC Two.

In a series of tweets posted announcing his departure, he looked back on his time at the corporation "with affection" and wished BBC Director-General Tim Davie well. 

He said: "With heavy heart I announce I will be leaving the BBC.

"Despite sterling efforts by new DG to come up with other programming opportunities, it could not quite repair damage done when Andrew Neil Show cancelled early summer and Politics Live taken off air.

"But I leave with no animosity or desire to settle scores.

"I look back on my 25 years doing live political programmes for the BBC with affection.

"And gratitude for brilliant colleagues at Millbank, who always made sure I went into the studio fully briefed and equipped for the fray.

"They were/are the best of the best. If they can make me look good, they can make anybody look good."

Mr Neil also suggested that he might not have left had circumstances been different.

He added: "There could have been a different outcome but for reasons too dull to adumbrate, we’ll leave it there.

"I wish the BBC and the new DG well. The BBC will always be special to me."

Mr Neil's next role will be as Chairman of GB News - a new channel coming next year.

He continued: "As for the future, I’m delighted to announce I have accepted the post of Chairman of GB News, a new news channel to be launched early in the New Year bringing new perspectives to the news.

"I will also be presenting a new nightly prime-time show on GB News.

"Watch this space."