Channel 4 News complaint made by gay ‘cure’ Christian therapist Lesley Pilkington rejected by Ofcom

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Ofcom has rejected a complaint made by a Christian therapist who was revealed to be offering gay conversion therapy in a Channel 4 investigation.

Lesley Pilkington had complained to the media regulator that she had been subjected to unfair treatment and that her privacy had been breached.

Journalist Patrick Strudwick secretly recorded Mrs Pilkington saying that homosexuality was a “mental illness” and she could help him overcome it.

He had approached her claiming to be a Christian who wanted to become straight.

Mr Strudwick, who won several awards for his expose, was also told by Mrs Pilkington that he must have been sexually abused as a child by a member of his family.

She was initially found guilty of malpractice by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) in July 2011.

However, it was only in October 2012 that Mrs Pilkington’s membership was finally terminated by the BACP.

Channel 4 News broadcast a story about Mrs Pilkington’s failure to overturn the BACP suspension on 22 May 2012.

She and Mr Strudwick were both interviewed on the programme.

Mrs Pilkington subsequently made a complaint to Ofcom stating that she had been subjected to unfair treatment.

However, on Monday, in its ruling, Ofcom said: “The programme makers took reasonable steps to ensure that the news report was fair to Mrs Pilkington and, in doing so, accurately presented the findings made by BACP in its appeal decision against Mrs Pilkington and the therapy session which she had with Mr Strudwick.”

Ofcom also ruled: “It was not necessary to tell Mrs Pilkington that there would be a reconstruction of the therapy session included in the programme in order to obtain her informed consent.”

Mr Strudwick said to “I’m delighted that Ofcom has come to this decision. This isn’t just a victory for investigative journalism but for gay people and indeed for the wellbeing of wider society. The way gay people are treated needs to be seen and heard and exposed if were are ever to be truly free and equal.”

Last November, Lib Dem Health Minister Norman Lamb said of gay conversion therapy: “There is no evidence that this sort of treatment is beneficial and indeed it may well cause significant harm, to some patients.”