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GB News broke the rules when Tory MPs interviewed the Chancellor before the Budget

An interview with Chancellor Jeremy Hunt on GB News by two fellow Conservative MPs ahead of the spring budget broke impartiality rules, broadcasting regulator Ofcom has said.

A pre-recorded interview with Mr Hunt by former pensions minister Esther McVey and backbencher Philip Davies was broadcast on their Saturday morning show in March, prompting 45 complaints.

Ofcom said GB News should have “taken additional steps to ensure that the required impartiality is preserved” and found that “the program overwhelmingly reflected the views of different schools of opinion within of the Conservative Party.

He adds: “There have been very limited references to wider perspectives on UK economic and fiscal policy in the context of the upcoming Budget.

“For example, no real attention was paid in the program to the views of politicians, political parties, organizations or individuals who, for example, criticized, opposed or proposed political alternatives to views expressed by the three conservative politicians. »

The married couple has presented a show on the channel since 2021, including Friday morning with Esther and Philippe and the Saturday show.

During the interview, Tatton MP Ms McVey asked Mr Hunt if he was “embarrassed, ashamed” to have “the highest levels of taxation in modern history”.

Other conservative political figures presenting programs on GB News include former cabinet member Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg and party deputy chairman Lee Anderson.

Sir Jacob’s show is under investigation for allegedly twice breaching Ofcom’s ‘politicians as presenters’ rule, which means ‘no politician may be used as a newsreader, interviewer or reporter in a news program unless, exceptionally, this is editorially justified.”

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Ofcom investigated the Chancellor Davies/McVey interview under this rule, but found no infringement as it was considered a current affairs and not current affairs programme.

But two of their May shows are still under investigation under the “politician presenters” rule.

The network is also being investigated for two other alleged “impartiality” violations, one for its “Don’t Kill Cash” campaign and another for a show hosted by Martin Daubney replacing Lawrence Fox .

Ofcom’s decision was the third breach by GB News since its launch in June 2021.


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