NEWS programmes hosted by politicians are to come under fresh scrutiny from the UK’s broadcasting regulator.

Earlier this year SNP MP John Nicolson grilled Ofcom chief executive Dame Melanie Dawes over whether news programmes hosted by Tory MPs violated the regulator’s broadcasting rules, which state that “in general, serving politicians cannot be a newsreader, interviewer or reporter in any news programme.”

Former minister Jacob Rees-Mogg hosts a chat show on GB News, while fellow Tory MPs and husband and wife duo Esther McVey and Philip Davies also host a morning news programme on the channel.

Meanwhile, Nadine Dorries presents a show on Friday evenings on Talk TV (and until her recent decision to stand down as an MP did so as a serving politician).

Back in March, Nicolson questioned Dawes in particular about a programme which saw McVey and Davies interview Chancellor Jeremy Hunt.

Dawes said she would be “happy to come back on that” after the SNP MP said that the interview “clearly breaches your rules”.

Now, Ofcom has said that it will be conducting new research into the public’s views on serving politicians presenting programmes on news channels such as GB News and Talk TV.

Ofcom said: “Viewers and listeners are at the centre of what we do. To ensure our broadcasting rules remain relevant and effective, it’s important for us to understand first-hand what people think and feel about the TV and radio content they consume, and how perspectives might change over time.

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“The rules around politicians presenting programmes were first introduced in 2005. Given the rise in the number of current affairs programmes presented by sitting politicians and recent public interest in this issue, we are conducting new research to gauge current audience attitudes towards these programmes.”

Nicolson tweeted that such scrutiny was overdue.

“Not before time," he said. "Ofcom seems to be getting it at last.

“MPs should not be pretending to be TV news presenters.

“Ofcom rules already forbid it. Time the rules were enforced. Now these shows are ‘to be put under the spotlight’ by Ofcom apparently.”

Ofcom rules currently state that while politicians cannot be newsreaders, interviewers or reporters they can present other kinds of shows – including those which discuss current affairs.

But it stresses that the “format” of show is important when broadcast on a news channel and that, in general, a politician should not be presenting a news programme.

However, as yet no action has been taken by Ofcom against GB News or Talk TV for giving serving Tory MPs a presenting slot.