GB News launches legal action against Ofcom

GB News has launched legal proceedings against Ofcom, after the media regulator ruled earlier this week the channel had breached broadcasting rules.

The channel said its decision to launch formal action followed a number of rulings against it by Ofcom.

In a statement, it said Ofcom’s rulings “go against journalists and broadcasters rights to make editorial judgements in line with the law”.

Ofcom told BBC News in response: “We stand by our decision.”

A GB News spokesman said it was “challenging recent Ofcom decisions… which also go against Ofcom’s own rules”, adding: “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.”

The broadcaster said it “refused” to allow the right of the freedom of the press to be “threatened”.

Earlier this week, Ofcom said it was considering a statutory sanction against GB News, after the channel was found to have broken due impartiality rules.

The broadcast regulator announced in February it was investigating a Q&A session which saw Prime Minister Rishi Sunak take questions from the public.

On 20 May, Ofcom said it had concluded the programme, called People’s Forum: The Prime Minister, broke its broadcasting rules.

But GB News said on Thursday: “The media watchdog ruled that while it had no issue with the programme’s format in principle, an ‘appropriately wide range of significant viewpoints was not presented’ – despite 14 of the 15 questions asked being highly critical of the government.”

It said the media watchdog also upheld complaints across five other shows hosted by Tory MPs Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg, Esther McVey and Phillip Davies.

The broadcast regulator has found GB News in breach of its rules 12 times since it launched in 2021.

There are seven investigations still outstanding, including one into a programme hosted by its former presenter Dan Wootton in relation to fairness and privacy rules.

An episode of Nigel Farage’s show is being investigated for due impartiality.

Other programmes, including Breakfast with Eamonn [Holmes] and Isabel [Webster] are being investigated under rules about due impartiality and broadcaster views/opinions.

In March, Ofcom told the channel it was “on notice” over future breaches.

The regulator warned repeated contraventions of the relevant part of its code could lead to a sanction.


Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.