Jacob Rees-Mogg among three Tory MPs whose GB News programme broke Ofcom’s rules

The watchdog’s probe involved five episodes of shows presented separately by Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg, Esther McVey, and Philip Davies, ITV News' Martha Fairlie reports

Three Tory MPs have been found to have broken Ofcom’s broadcasting rules on due impartiality during their GB News programmes.

The watchdog’s probe involved five episodes of shows presented separately by former House of Commons leader Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg, minister without portfolio Esther McVey, and backbencher Philip Davies.

A further episode of Sir Jacob’s State Of The Nation was not investigated because it did not raise issues under the rules, according to Ofcom.

The media watchdog said that because the politicians “acted as newsreaders, news interviewers or news reporters in sequences which clearly constituted news – including reporting breaking news events – without exceptional justification, news was, therefore, not presented with due impartiality”.

It went on: “Politicians have an inherently partial role in society and news content presented by them is likely to be viewed by audiences in light of that perceived bias.

“In our view, the use of politicians to present the news risks undermining the integrity and credibility of regulated broadcast news.”

In response, GB News said it was "deeply concerned by the decision" before vowing to "raise this directly with the regulator in the strongest possible terms."

A spokesperson said: "Ofcom is obliged by law to promote free speech and media plurality, and to ensure that alternative voices are heard.

"Its latest decisions, in some cases a year after the programme aired, contravene thoseduties."

The media channel added Ofcom has "arbitrarily changed the test" for which it holds organisations to impartiality standards.

"GB News is a regulated broadcast channel and takes its obligations very seriously.

"We are committed to continuing to feature serving politicians hosting programmesand will continue to do so – just as other Ofcom regulated services have in the pastand still do."

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