GB News takes legal action following Ofcom rule break

GB News is threatening to take legal action against Ofcom, after the UK media regulator ruled the right-wing news channel breached its broadcasting rules.

Source: GB News

The free-to-air channel said it has begun the formal legal process of challenging Ofcom’s recent decision. The UK watchdog found the GB News People’s Forum: Prime Minister show, which aired in February featuring Rishi Sunak, broke its impartiality rules.

Ofcom said it received 547 complaints about the hour-long question-and-answer session, following a grilling of the PM on topics ranging from Covid, Ukraine, immigration, housing and the NHS.

GB News could face being fined, with Ofcom launching a procedure for the consideration of a statutory sanction.

The investigation outlined that the PM was able to set out future policies that his Government planned to implement, if re-elected in the forthcoming UK General Election, which the audience nor the presenter challenged or referred to significant alternative views. Audience members were not able to challenge Sunak’s responses and the presenter did not do this to any meaningful extent.

In addition, the group found Labour Party’s views or positions on those issues, or any other significant views on those issues were not included in the programme, despite criticism of the party’s policies and performance. GB News also failed to offer a future programme in which an appropriately wide range of significant views on the major matter would be presented and given due weight, says Ofcom.

In a statement shared with press, GB News said: “Ofcom is obliged by law to uphold freedom of expression. Ofcom is also obliged to apply its rules fairly and lawfully. We believe that, for some time now, Ofcom has been operating in the exact opposite manner.

“We cannot allow freedom of expression and media freedom to be trampled on in this way. Freedom of the press is a civil right established by the British in the seventeenth century with the abolition of censorship and licensing of the printing press,” the company added. “We refuse to stand by and allow this right to be threatened. As the People’s Channel we champion this freedom; for our viewers, for our listeners, for everyone in the United Kingdom.”

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