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Ofcom is investigating GB News program featuring Rishi Sunak

Ofcom is investigating GB News program featuring Rishi Sunak

  • Written by Stephen McIntosh
  • Entertainment reporter

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Members of the public questioned Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during the program, which was broadcast last week

Ofcom has launched an investigation into the integrity of the GB News program which included a question and answer session with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

People's Forum: Prime Minister was filmed in County Durham and broadcast on 12 February.

The format saw members of the public questioning the Prime Minister on issues such as immigration and the NHS.

The UK's Communications and Broadcasting Regulatory Authority said it had received about 500 complaints about the programme.

Ofcom added in its statement that it was investigating the program related to “due neutrality requirements.”

An Ofcom spokesman said: “We are investigating under rules 5.11 and 5.12 of the Broadcasting Code which provide additional requirements for due impartiality for programs that deal with matters of significant political controversy and major questions of current public policy.”

“Specifically, Rules 5.11 and 5.12 require that an appropriately broad range of important viewpoints be included and given due consideration in such programs, or in clearly and timely related programs.”

During the broadcast, presenter Stephen Dixon said the questions to be asked by undecided voters had not been previously seen by the Prime Minister or GB News.

Sunak was the only guest on the hour-long programme. The question and answer session was followed by analyzes and interviews with members of the audience.

Asked about the watchdog's actions on Monday, Downing Street said the Prime Minister did not regret taking part in the programme.

His spokesman told reporters: “This is clearly a matter for Ofcom first, which is a truly independent regulator.

“But obviously, as you see regularly, the Prime Minister is being interviewed by a range of broadcasters, outlets and other media.

“Media appearances like the one he made last week are an important part of the democratic process.”

Ofcom is currently investigating GB News for a number of other shows, with many of those reviews covering issues of impartiality.

The issue of political figures such as Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg and former Conservative Party deputy leader Lee Anderson presenting topical programs has also drawn criticism.

Former Pensions Minister Esther McVey and MP Philip Davies also served as presenters on the channel.

The right-leaning network was founded by businessmen Andrew Cole and Mark Schneider to challenge entrenched British news providers, and launched in June 2021.

The channel's CEO is Angelos Frangopoulos, who previously ran Sky News Australia.

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