Ofcom: MPs hosting talk shows is freedom of speech

Several politicians, including former Cabinet minister Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg and current Conservative deputy chairman Lee Anderson, host programmes on GB News.

The BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg asked Ofcom chief Lord Grade about GB News having a number of Tory politicians on the channel, with former Prime Minister Boris Johnson set to join.

He said rules around impartiality, fairness and accuracy are the same for all broadcasters.

Former pensions minister Esther McVey and backbencher Philip Davies are also channel presenters.

Nadine Dorries began hosting a programme on TalkTV before she quit as an MP.

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Labour’s shadow foreign secretary David Lammy also hosts a show on LBC.

Asked if he is worried about an increase in polarisation, Lord Grade said: “We want to see a plurality of choice and freedom of expression on the airwaves.

“We don’t want to be in the business of telling broadcasters, licensees, who they can employ, who they can’t employ. There are rules about elections and politicians at election time, there are very strong, clear rules, but that’s not our job.

“Our job is to ensure, within the rules of due impartiality, there is plenty of choice and freedom of expression on the airwaves. That means some people will always be offended by stuff but there’s no rule that says you can’t be offended.”

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