Jacob Rees-Mogg’s GB News show under Ofcom investigation

Complaints were received over coverage of Trump's civil trial verdict


An episode of Jacob Rees-Mogg’s State of the Nation GB News show faces an Ofcom investigation on whether it complied with the rules of the broadcast regulator.

The programme in question covered a breaking news story about the civil trial verdict involving Donald Trump, which led to 40 complaints being made to Ofcom. The investigation will focus on whether the programme complied with rules which prevent politicians acting as newsreaders.

The regulator said, “our investigation will look at the programme’s compliance with our rules which prevent politicians from acting as newsreaders in any news programmes, unless exceptionally, it is editorially justified”.

The right-wing news channel that boasts Nigel Farage as a presenter and most recently Tory deputy chairman Lee Anderson, is no stranger to Ofcom scrutiny. An investigation remains ongoing into the Saturday Morning show with Esther and Philip broadcast on GB News, related to the same rule.

Most recently the channel was slammed for a ‘second significant breach of the Code’ after it allowed false claims to be aired about the Covid-19 vaccine.

This lead to a request for GB News to attend a meeting with Ofcom to, ‘discuss its approach to compliance’. It came after the presenter Mark Steyn made false claims around risks of getting a third Covid jab.

Lee Anderson has faced fresh ridicule over his latest GB News programme, in which he attempted to feed cat food to his guest, a fellow GB News presenter.

Paid £100,000 a year for his contribution on the broadcast channel, the scene has been dubbed ‘deeply weird and uncomfortable’ by some viewers.

A new investigation into Richard Tice on Talk TV show presented by Alex Salmond was also opened today, Monday, over whether it broke rules requiring news and current affairs to be presented with due impartiality.  

Rules around politicians presenting programmes were first introduced in 2005. Politicians are allowed to present TV and radio shows, however with exceptions which include not on news stories unless exceptional or editorially justified.

The rules 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.”

Ofcom have acknowledged a rise in the number of current affairs programmes presented by sitting politicians and are currently conducting research into audience attitudes to these programmes.

Hannah Davenport is trade union reporter at Left Foot Forward

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