AN Ofcom investigation has concluded that a GB News programme hosted by a Tory husband and wife duo breached impartiality rules.  

The March 11 edition of Saturday Morning With Esther and Phil, hosted by sitting Tory MPs, Esther McVey and Philip Davies, focused on the UK Government’s approach to economic and fiscal policies ahead of the Spring Budget which was announced just four days later.

In total, 45 complaints were sent to Ofcom from concerned viewers who felt the show had failed to preserve due impartiality.

Ofcom notes that the programme featured an interview with the Chancellor and that the panel discussions focused on a matter of national significance.

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Subjects discussed included a variety of tax policies, borrowing, the role of economic forecasting in budget setting and the cost of living.

Ofcom found that “the programme was overwhelmingly reflective of the viewpoints of different strands of opinion within the Conservative Party”.

The watchdog added: “There were only very limited references to wider perspectives on the 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.”

The result of the investigation marks the third breach of Ofcom’s broadcasting rules by GB News since its launch in June 2021.

Ofcom also said it has “six further investigations open into the channel’s compliance with our due impartiality rules”.

On their final decision, Ofcom said: “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.”