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New investigations into GB News and Talk TV

Published: 1 August 2023
Last updated: 1 August 2023

Today we are opening two new broadcast standards investigations.

The first will look at whether an episode of State of the Nation on GB News which aired on 9 May, complied with our rules.

We received 40 complaints about this programme, presented by Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, which covered a breaking news story about a civil trial verdict involving former US President Donald Trump. Our investigation will look at the programme’s compliance with our rules which prevent politicians from acting as newsreaders in any news programmes, unless exceptionally, it is editorially justified.

The second will investigate whether a Talk TV show presented by Alex Salmond, which aired on 2 April, broke our rules requiring news and current affairs to be presented with due impartiality.

We received two complaints about this programme, specifically in relation to a discussion on the SNP.

Our investigation into Saturday Morning with Esther and Philip broadcast on GB News on 11 March 2023, remains ongoing. This also relates to our rules outlined above.

We’re asking what people think about politicians presenting programmes

Viewers and listeners are at the centre of what we do. So, 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. As such, we regularly carry out research into how audiences feel about different types of content they may come across on TV and radio.

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. This will be carried out by an expert research agency and we aim to publish the findings later this year.

(This article was amended on 1 August 2023, to make clear that while the Talk TV show under investigation was broadcast in the usual slot for Richard Tice's show, it was guest presented by Alex Salmond on this occasion, and not Richard Tice.)

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