A FORMER Ofcom director of standards has said the watchdog must decide whether rules around politicians presenting TV programmes are still acceptable.

Chris Banatvala was in the job when the regulator’s rules around politicians presenting shows were introduced in 2005.

He has told the BBC that no-one foresaw the rise of politician presenters in the 2000s, adding that in a changing media landscape, we need a “grown-up debate about whether and how we want to apply due impartiality to news”.

Banatvala said: "It's evident now that news channels are blurring the boundaries between genuine news, current affairs and opinion.

"That may be a good reason for Ofcom to look at these rules in the round.

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"We may need to look at whether these rules are fit for purpose, and whether we need to amend or adjust them."

Ofcom is reviewing its rules around politicians presenting TV shows.

Under its rules, news must be presented with due impartiality, and politicians are not allowed to be newsreaders, interviewers or reporters "unless, exceptionally, it is editorially justified".

Ofcom says there are no rules against politicians hosting current affairs programmes, as long as they reflect a range of views.

But a debate has been brewing over how these rules apply to the growing number of shows on the likes of GB News and TalkTV that are presented by politicians.

Earlier this week it emerged Ofcom had launched a probe into Jacob Rees-Mogg’s GB News show after an episode featuring a breaking news story about a civil trial verdict involving Donald Trump received 40 complaints.

An episode of a TalkTV show presented by Alex Salmond is also being investigated. 

SNP MP John Nicolson savaged bosses at the UK’s media watchdog on Tuesday for failing to enforce their own rules on impartiality when it comes to GB News programmes.

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Banatvala said the tenor of programme on some channels in the UK "is something that's come across the pond from America".

When the impartiality rules were drafted, Banatvala said they were felt to be "ample and adequate to prevent any programme from using the same political party over and over again".

"It wasn't ever envisaged that a news channel would use politicians from the same political party to present programmes, day in, day out," he said.

Kate Biggs, Ofcom's content policy director, said the media watchdog takes its responsibility on impartiality and accuracy rules "very seriously".

She said the regulator's investigations into programmes "do set a precedent for other editors".