GB News could potentially face sanctions following a programme featuring Rishi Sunak, which breached broadcasting regulations, according to regulator Ofcom.

Ofcom stated it was contemplating a “statutory sanction” after discovering that ‘People’s Forum: The Prime Minister’ violated impartiality guidelines. GB News described this as “an alarming development” striking at the core of democracy.

The hour-long show, which aired on 12th February, allowed members of the public to pose questions to the Prime Minister but received 547 complaints. In March, Ofcom announced that five other GB News programmes, including two hosted by Jacob Rees-Mogg, also contravened impartiality regulations.

Ofcom acknowledged that the programme with Mr Sunak was acceptable in principle but criticized its failure to provide adequate consideration to a broad range of significant perspectives apart from those of the Conservative Party. This should have been addressed during the programme or in related broadcasts.

Ofcom noted that Mr Sunak was provided with a platform largely unchallenged to endorse government policies prior to a UK General Election. Consequently, it recorded a breach of rules 5.11 and 5.12 of the Broadcasting Code against GB News.

The channel swiftly responded to the ruling, refuting the claim of impartiality violation. It argued that threatening a news organization with sanctions for facilitating challenges to the Prime Minister undermines democracy, especially during such crucial times.

The channel insisted that their live programme allowed an independently chosen group of undecided voters to question the Prime Minister freely, without any interference. They asserted that neither the producers nor the Prime Minister had prior knowledge of the questions, and Mr Sunak faced diverse topics under constant scrutiny.

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