UK broadcaster GB News could face sanctions from regulator Ofcom after a programme with Rishi Sunak broke broadcasting rules.

Ofcom said it was considering a “statutory sanction” after finding People’s Forum: The Prime Minister breached impartiality guidelines.


GBNews could face sanctions from Ofcom

Ofcom received 547 complaints about the live, hour-long current affairs programme. It featured the UK Prime Minister in a question-and-answer session with a studio audience about the government’s policies and performance, presented in the context of the forthcoming UK General Election.

Ofcom said it had no issue with the programme’s editorial format in principle, but must observe impartiality rules in its broadcasting code.

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An investigation found that audience members were not able to challenge the Prime Minister’s responses and that GB News’ presenter did not do this “to any meaningful extent”.

In a statement, Ofcom said: “Given the very high compliance risks this programme presented, we found GB News’s approach to compliance to be wholly insufficient, and consider it could have, and should have, taken additional steps to mitigate these risks.”

GB News said: “The regulator’s threat to punish a news organisation with sanctions for enabling people to challenge their own prime minister strikes at the heart of democracy at a time when it could not be more vital.”

Ofcom’s sanctions could see it impose a financial penalty, shorten a licence, revoke a licence, issue a direction not to repeat a programme or issue a direction to broadcast a correction or a statement of Ofcom’s finding.

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