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GB News programme with Rishi Sunak investigated by Ofcom over impartiality rules

19 Feb 2024 2 minute read
Rishi Sunak. Photo Joe Giddens. PA Images

Ofcom has launched an investigation into whether People’s Forum: The Prime Minister on GBNews breached impartiality rules.

The programme, which saw Prime Minister Rishi Sunak take questions from the public in a live Q&A in Co Durham on February 12, has prompted about 500 complaints.

An Ofcom spokesperson said: “We are investigating under rules 5.11 and 5.12 of the Broadcasting Code which provide additional due impartiality requirements for programmes dealing with matters of major political controversy and major matters relating to current public policy.

“Specifically, rules 5.11 and 5.12 require that an appropriately wide range of significant views must be included and given due weight in such programmes, or in clearly linked and timely programmes.”

Impartiality 

During the broadcast, presenter Stephen Dixon said the questions to be asked by undecided voters had not been seen in advance by the Prime Minister or by GB News.

GB News is currently being investigated by Ofcom for a number of other shows, including many over impartiality issues.

The issue of political figures such as Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg and current Conservative deputy chairman Lee Anderson presenting topical programmes has also been contentious.

Former pensions minister Esther McVey and backbencher Philip Davies are also presenters on GB News, and former culture secretary Nadine Dorries began hosting a programme on TalkTV before she quit as an MP.

Labour’s shadow foreign secretary David Lammy also hosts a show on LBC.

Investigation

Rishi Sunak does not regret taking part in People’s Forum: The Prime Minister on GB News despite Ofcom launching an investigation.

Asked about the watchdog’s actions, his official spokesman told reporters: “No. This is obviously a matter firstly for Ofcom, who’s rightly an independent regulator.

“But obviously, as you’ll see regularly, the Prime Minister undertakes interviews from a range of broadcasters, outlets and other media.

“And media appearances such as the one he conducted last week are an important part of the democratic process.”


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Barbara H.
Barbara H.
4 months ago

GB news is a quagmire of Tory views and opinions. Maybe RS did not know the questions, but they would have been something he could deflect and say one of his condescending responses to.
RS “Could not recall” 24 times when questioned at the UK Covid Inquiry. He did not care about the British public then and does not now.
His goal is to make himself, his family and his cronies richer by the policies that are forced upon us.
We need a General Election now to rest this fiasco.

Jeff
Jeff
4 months ago

GBeebies is full on far right trumpet for the moral and intellectually challenged. We already know that. The gave Dorries and Mogg a job, what else do you need to know? Instead of looking at their output (as its a given), look at their backers and funders.

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
4 months ago

On the grounds that it makes me feel nauseous, I no longer monitor GBeebies but I turned on a TV in my hotel room last week to find Sunak on this Peoples’ Forum so I stuck with it despite it making me nauseous again. He sounds most untrustworthy in these situations when he finishes his lines with ‘right’. He’s not good at blagging on the hoof. Audience members on leaving were being asked if he had convinced them to vote for his party but I got no comfort from the ‘nay’ replies when for certain they will be voting Deform.… Read more »

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