THE UK’s broadcasting regulator has launched an investigation into Rishi Sunak’s hosting of a GB News programme after receiving hundreds of complaints.

On February 12, the Prime Minister took over Tory MP and GB News presenter Jacob Rees-Mogg’s usual evening timeslot to host an hour-long live Q&A with members of the public.

The programme featured Sunak struggling to answer a question from a member of the public who claimed to have been injured by the Covid-19 vaccine and was described as  a “car-crash” by one media commentator. 

Now, Ofcom has said it will investigate concerns of “due impartiality” associated with the programme.

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A statement read: “We have launched an investigation into ‘People’s Forum: The Prime Minister’ on GB News under our due impartiality rules.

“We have received around 500 complaints about the programme which aired on GB News on 12 February 2024.

“We are investigating under Rules 5.11 and 5.12 of the Broadcasting Code which provide additional due impartiality requirements for programmes dealing with matters of major political controversy and major matters relating to current public policy”.

Sunak said he does not regret taking part in  the show despite Ofcom launching an investigation into whether the programme breached impartiality rules, Downing Street has said.

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Asked about the watchdog’s actions, his official spokesman told reporters: “No. This is obviously a matter firstly for Ofcom, who’s rightly an independent regulator.

“But obviously, as you’ll see regularly, the Prime Minister undertakes interviews from a range of broadcasters, outlets and other media.

“And media appearances such as the one he conducted last week are an important part of the democratic process.”

GB News has been found of breach of Ofcom rules numerous times since launching in 2021. 

Last year, a GB News interview with Jeremy Hunt conducted by two sitting Conservative MPs was found to have breached rules on impartiality while a programme presented by Mark Steyn was found to have materially misled the public during a discussion about coronavirus vaccines. 

The SNP MP John Nicolson said GB News's flaunting of the rules needed to be handled properly by Ofcom. 

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"Obviously it is tremendously painful having to watch and re-watch Prime Minister’s Rishi Sunak’s toe-curling attempt to engage with ‘normal people’ on GB News, he said. 

"But I am glad to see Ofcom have now done so and are launching an investigation into his appearance -  the result of more than 500 complaints to the media regulator.

"We have rules in place to regulate broadcasting. No-one wants to see us go down the American route with puce-faced right-wing demagogues ranting disinformation at the camera day and night. Trump was the result.

"GB News repeatedly flaunts the rules. Ofcom doesn’t seem to know how to cope with a broadcaster which happily pays fines and keeps on defying the regulator.

"Rishi Sunak’s appearance broke Ofcom’s impartiality rules. Ofcom rules 5.11 and 5.12 demand that on news programmes a range of views must be included.

"In other words if Rishi Sunak is given an hour then so should Stephen Flynn and Sir Keir Starmer as his opponents at Westminster.

"Ofcom must up its game. GB News - like Russia Today - isn’t a normal news channel but a propaganda outlet. Ofcom must treat it as such."