Ofcom launches probes into GB News over bias fears on shows hosted by Tory MPs

1169     0
A show presented by Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg is under investigation (Image: Getty Images)
A show presented by Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg is under investigation (Image: Getty Images)

TV watchdog Ofcom has launched four more investigations into GB News.

The regulator revealed it was probing three programmes over compliance with impartiality rules. They include an episode of Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg's show State Of The Nation, in relation to its rule that politicians must not act as newsreaders, interviewers or reporters "unless exceptionally it is editorially justified".

On June 13, ex-Cabinet Minister Sir Jacob's show covered a stabbing incident in Nottingham, while Ofcom is also probing the Friday morning show from husband-and-wife duo Esther McVey and Philip Davies, Conservative MPs for Tatton, Cheshire, and Shipley, West Yorks, respectively, on May 12 which included a discussion about a teenager who was being sentenced for terrorism offences.

Saturday Morning With Esther And Philip which aired on May 13 this year is also being examined, following an interview with Howard Cox, the Reform UK party's candidate for the London mayoral election, who was speaking live from an anti-ultra low emission zone demonstration.

Ofcom launches probes into GB News over bias fears on shows hosted by Tory MPs erideuiqtqiqdrinvEsther McVey and husband Philip Davies - both Tory MPs - present a show on GB News (Daily Mirror)

It is also assessing the programme's compliance with the broadcasting rule which requires that "news, in whatever form, must be presented with due impartiality". Ofcom said it was also investigating an episode of Laurence Fox on June 16, which was guest-presented by Martin Daubney and featured an interview with Richard Tice, the leader of Reform UK.

Teachers, civil servants and train drivers walk out in biggest strike in decadeTeachers, civil servants and train drivers walk out in biggest strike in decade

It included a discussion about immigration and asylum policy, particularly in relation to the issue of small boats crossing the Channel. This episode is being probed in relation to the broadcasting rule which requires that due impartiality "is preserved on matters of major political or industrial controversy or those relating to current public policy and that an appropriately wide range of significant views are included and given due weight", the watchdog said.

The investigations come months after Adam Baxter, director of broadcasting standards at Ofcom, said the watchdog would be looking at GB News to see if the broadcaster is "behaving itself" following the channel breaching its broadcasting code with Covid claims for the second time.

In July, Ofcom launched a new broadcast standards investigation into an episode of Sir Jacob's State Of The Nation show which addressed a court case involving Donald Trump, after it received 40 complaints objecting to the MP for North East Somerset acting as a newsreader. In the same month, the regulator launched an investigation into GB News over a campaign which calls on the Government to introduce laws to "protect the status of cash", which under its rules excludes broadcasters from expressing views on "political and industrial controversy or current public policy".

* Follow Mirror Politics onSnapchat,Tiktok,TwitterandFacebook

Ben Glaze

Print page

Comments:

comments powered by Disqus