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Ofcom launches investigation into PM’s appearance on GB News | UK News

Ofcom has launched an investigation into Rishi Sunak’s recent appearance on GB News.

The prime minister answered questions on a range of topics from an audience on the show, but complainants alleged that no alternative view was offered.

During the broadcast, presenter Stephen Dixon said the questions were being asked by undecided voters and had not been seen in advance by Mr Sunak or by GB News.

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In a statement, the UK’s communications and broadcast regulator said: “We have received around 500 complaints about the programme which aired on GB News on 12 February 2024.

“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.”

The Ofcom Broadcasting Code outlines the rules with which programmes broadcast on television and radio must abide.

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The “due impartiality” requirement in current affairs output does not mean that the same amount of time needs to be given to opposing views. However audiences need to be exposed to alternative ways of thinking.

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

In September it was found to have breached these rules after Chancellor Jeremy Hunt was interviewed by fellow Tory MPs Esther McVey and Philip Davies about the upcoming Autumn Statement.

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Ofcom said its investigation found the programme was “overwhelmingly reflective of the viewpoints of different strands of opinion within the Conservative Party” and the news channel “failed to represent and give due weight to an appropriately wide range of significant views on a matter of major political controversy”.

The issue of political figures presenting topical programmes is increasingly becoming contentious as more MPs take these jobs.

Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg and current Conservative deputy chairman Lee Anderson also have shows on GB News, while 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.

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