GB News’ poll claiming public support for politician presenters labelled ‘biased’

“Independent poll commissioned by GB News…. The station with four Tory MPs – could not be more biased if you paid for it….,”


A poll commissioned by GB News found that four in ten accept politicians as being presenters for certain types of programmes on news channels.

The survey asked 2,119 adults in Britain their thoughts of politicians presenting interview and opinion shows. 41 percent said they were in support. 43 percent supported “politicians being allowed to present opinion and interview programmes on broadcast news channels as long as they embrace some alternative points of view as per regulatory standards” while 31% were in opposition.

Almost half – 49 percent – of those surveyed supported politicians presenting shows if they were “challenged and debated by other guests”, while 21% disagreed.

As well as GB News inevitably bigging up its own poll, other right-wing media sources were quick to report the poll’s findings.  

“Voters back GB News’s politician presenters as regulator investigates complaints,” was a headline in the Express this week.

The poll was published as the broadcast regulator Ofcom investigates a number of programmes on the right-wing channel over impartiality standards in relation to MPs acting as show hosts, alongside several other ongoing investigations. 

Ofcom states that due impartiality “does not mean an equal division of time has to be given to every view, or that every argument and every facet of every argument has to be represented.” One side however must not be favoured over another.

The media watchdog also has a rule that prevents politicians from acting as newsreaders, interviewers, or reporters in news programmes “unless, exceptionally, it is editorially justified”.

It says that politicians can present programmes deemed to be current affairs opposed to the news and that if something involves “extensive discussion, analysis or interviews with guests” it may be classed as current affairs.

Earlier in August, the media regulator launched four new separate investigations, taking the total number of Ofcom investigations into GB News to seven. The new investigations were sparked by complaints that the two-year old ‘news’ channel broke impartiality rules. The investigation includes three episodes of programmes hosted by Tory MPs – Jacob Rees-Mogg, Philip Davies and Esther McVey – related to the rule that politicians are not able to act as news presenters. One of which saw serving Tory MPs Esther McVey and Philip Davies interview the Conservative chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, about his spending plans.

The relation to the ‘conveniently timed’ poll looking at public attitudes on MPs hosting their own TV shows, the public didn’t hold back in sharing criticism.

“Breaking news – Biased poll shows exactly what we wanted it to, now we will use it as verbatim, even though it doesn’t come close to reflecting actual society,’ wrote one unconvinced Twitter user.

“Independent poll commissioned by GB News…. The station with four Tory MPs – could not be more biased if you paid for it….,” posted another.

“Try doing non-biased polls for non-GB News viewers, for more accurate figures, or are you scared of what the results would be?” was another message.  

“Nobody is going to vote in a GB News poll unless they are already happy watching a channel with Tory MPs spouting Tory views,” said another.

Meanwhile, a separate poll carried out by Omnisis for Byline Supplement, found that 55 percent of voters say all MPs should be banned from hosting TV news shows, with just 22 percent disagreeing.

Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a contributing editor to Left Foot Forward

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