Home UK News GB News condemns Ofcom’s actions as a ‘terrifying’ assault on democracy

GB News condemns Ofcom’s actions as a ‘terrifying’ assault on democracy

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GB News has condemned Ofcom’s actions as a “terrifying” assault on democracy after the regulatory body threatened the broadcaster with a fine.

The potential sanctions stem from a show featuring Prime Minister Rishi Sunak which sparked 547 complaints from viewers.

Ofcom’s investigation into the program, titled People’s Forum: The Prime Minister, raised concerns that it did not adequately present diverse viewpoints and failed to maintain impartiality.

Although Ofcom acknowledged the show’s editorial format in principle, it criticised GB News for its insufficient approach to impartiality, stating that the Prime Minister was given an uncontested platform to promote government policies before a UK general election.

However, Ofcom’s decision has already been criticised by leading figures in broadcasting and politics.

MP Jonathan Gullis wrote on Twitter / X:

“How on earth Ofcom has sanctioned GB News for allowing viewers to ask their questions to the Prime Minister defies logic. Especially when the channel has offered Starmer the same chance. All while Ofcom appears silent over LBC presenters like David Lammy and Carol Vorderman.”

Describing the breach as “serious and repeated,” Ofcom announced its intention to begin the process of considering a statutory sanction, potentially resulting in a fine. GB News responded by asserting that the Prime Minister had been subjected to robust questioning by viewers and condemned Ofcom’s findings as an alarming attempt to stifle free speech.

In its ruling, Ofcom highlighted the absence of adequate challenges to the Prime Minister’s responses and the failure to reflect alternative viewpoints, particularly those of the Labour Party. This incident is the latest in a series of impartiality breaches by GB News, with previous violations identified in programs hosted by MPs, including Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg.

GB News has hit back at the regulatory body’s decision calling it “a chilling development for all broadcasters, for freedom of speech, and for everyone in the United Kingdom.”

The statement from GB News said: It appears that Ofcom is trying to extend the regulations, rather than enforcing
definitions which have been settled for many years.”

Former UKIP leader Henry Bolton wrote: “The problem Ofcom has is that, rather like the Met Police, they give the appearance of being partisan; of applying double standards. No one believes that, if the PM’d appeared on, say, Newsnight, and had been asked the very same questions, OFCOM would have had an issue with it.”

Former Diplomat Andy Wigmore weighed in saying: “Ofcom’s chilling GB News ruling threatens the principles of a free democracy – it should concern us all Ofcom⁩ are politically biased perhaps ⁦Rishi Sunak team should tell Ofcom to wind its neck in.”

Popular Broadcaster and former GB News Presenter, Dan Wooton added: “The Ofcommunists decision to sanction GB News for allowing viewers to question Sunak is chilling. But this is why the channel should have stood up for Mark Steyn, Dominic Frisby, Laurence Fox, Calvin Robinson and yours truly who were all sacrificed on the altar of the regulator.”

Ofcom will now determine whether to impose a fine on the channel, with a decision expected within 60 working days.

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