Ofcom to investigate GB News show featuring Rishi Sunak

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Members of the public questioned Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during the programme, which aired last week
By Steven McIntosh
Entertainment reporter

Ofcom has launched an investigation into the impartiality of a GB News programme which featured a Q&A session with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

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

The format saw members of the public question the prime minister on issues such as migration and the NHS.

The UK’s communications and broadcast regulator said it had received around 500 complaints about the programme.

In its statement, Ofcom added it was investigating the programme relating to “due impartiality requirements”.

An Ofcom spokesperson said: “We are investigating under rules 5.11 and 5.12 of the Broadcasting Code which provide additional due impartiality requirements for programmes dealing with matters of major political controversy and major matters relating to current public policy.

“Specifically, rules 5.11 and 5.12 require that an appropriately wide range of significant views must be included and given due weight in such programmes, or in clearly linked and timely programmes.”

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

Sunak was the only guest on the programme, which lasted an hour. The Q&A session was followed by analysis and interviews with members of the audience.

The broadcaster is currently being investigated by Ofcom for a number of other shows, with many of those reviews covering impartiality issues.

The issue of political figures such as Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg and former Conservative deputy chairman Lee Anderson presenting topical programmes has also prompted criticism.

Former pensions minister Esther McVey and backbencher Philip Davies are also worked as presenters on the channel.

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

The channel’s CEO is Angelos Frangopoulos, who formerly ran Sky News Australia.

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18 December 2023