Ofcom investigates GB News after Tory MPs’ interview with Jeremy Hunt

“No politician may be used as a newsreader, interviewer or reporter in any news programmes unless, exceptionally, it is editorially justified."

Jeremy Hunt

Right-wing channel GB News is once more being investigated by media regulator Ofcom, this time over whether it breached impartiality rules after two Tory MPs interviewed Chancellor Jeremy Hunt ahead of the Spring budget.

Hunt was interviewed by former Tory cabinet minister Esther McVey, who is still the MP for Tatton, and her husband, Philip Davies, the MP for Shipley, on Saturday 11 March for their weekly show.

Ofcom regulations state that ‘news and current affairs are to be presented with due impartiality’. It’s difficult to see how two Tory MPs interviewing a Tory chancellor passes that test.

The regulator said: “Our investigation will look at the programme’s compliance with our rules on politicians presenting programmes, and whether it included an appropriately wide range of significant views relating to a matter of major political controversy or current public policy.”

SNP MP John Nicolson, who sits on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, previously suggested there had been a breach because the pair acted as interviewers.

Ofcom guidelines state: “No politician may be used as a newsreader, interviewer or reporter in any news programmes unless, exceptionally, it is editorially justified.

“In that case, the political allegiance of that person must be made clear to the audience.”

The latest incident comes after GB News host Mark Steyn was found to have breached Ofcom regulations after making “potentially harmful and materially misleading” claims about Covid-19 vaccines.

The broadcasting rules were broken last April, when Steyn made comments about the Covid-19 booster jabs, claiming, incorrectly, that data showed significantly greater risk of “infection, hospitalisation and death”, from the third jab.

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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