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GB NEWS FOUND IN BREACH OF OFCOM RULES OVER CHANCELLOR INTERVIEW

An Ofcom investigation has today concluded that an episode of Saturday Morning with Esther and Phil, which aired on GB News on 11 March 2023, breached due impartiality rules.



Saturday Morning with Esther and Phil is a weekly two-hour discussion programme presented by Esther McVey and Philip Davies, two sitting Conservative Party MPs.



This particular programme featured a pre-recorded interview between the two presenters and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt MP. The interview focused on the Government’s approach to economic and fiscal policies ahead of the Spring Budget, which was announced four days later.


Ofcom say: "Our investigation found, that in discussing these matters, the programme was overwhelmingly reflective of the viewpoints of different strands of opinion within the Conservative Party...



There were only very limited references to wider perspectives on UK economic and fiscal policy in the context of the forthcoming budget. For example, no real attention was given anywhere in the programme to the viewpoints of politicians, political parties, organisations or individuals that either, for example, criticised, opposed or put forward policy alternatives to the viewpoints given by the three Conservative politicians.


In addition, there were no clear, editorial linkages made in this programme to any other content which might have contained these views.



Given this programme featured two sitting MP presenters from one political party interviewing the Chancellor of the same political party about a matter of major political controversy and current public policy, we consider, in these circumstances, that GB News should have taken additional steps to ensure that due impartiality was preserved."


Ofcom received 45 complaints from viewers who raised concerns that the programme had failed to preserve due impartiality.



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