Ofcom to investigate GB News show featuring Rishi Sunak after more than 500 complaints

Prime minister Rishi Sunak wears a suit, tie and coat as he stands outside for a photo

Rishi Sunak’s appearance on a GB News programme is being investigated by Ofcom after the broadcast watchdog received more than 500 complaints. 

During the People’s Forum programme, which aired on 12 February, the prime minister took questions from a studio audience on a variety of subjects, including the NHS and his Rwanda asylum plan. Sunak was the only guest on the show.

After the Q&A session concluded, the channel interviewed Bury North Conservative MP James Daly about the PM’s performance. 

The UK’s communications and broadcast regulator said it received some 500 complaints about the show. It then began an investigation into whether the programme has breached impartiality rules by failing to include other political views. 

In a statement, Ofcom 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.”

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Asked on Monday (19 February) about the watchdog’s actions, Downing Street said Sunak didn’t regret taking part in the programme, The Guardian reported.

“This is obviously a matter firstly for Ofcom, [which is] rightly an independent regulator,” an official spokesperson said. “But, obviously, as you’ll see regularly, the prime minister undertakes interviews from a range of broadcasters, outlets and other media.

“Media appearances such as the one he conducted last week are an important part of the democratic process.”

GB News has been the subject of a number of complaints to Ofcom

Scottish National Party gay MP John Nicolson, a member of the culture, media and sport committee, wrote on X/Twitter: “I’m glad to see Ofcom investigate GB News again for another flagrant breach of the impartiality rules.

“However, I’m not at all convinced that GB News cares much about Ofcom or takes the regulator seriously.”

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