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‘Fire Farage’: Public Wants Ofcom to Ban GB News Politician Presenters

The poll comes as broadcasting regulators give the green light to Nigel Farage and other senior politicians to keep presenting on news channels during the general election

GB News Presenter Nigel Farage

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The British public wants politicians to be banned from presenting on channels like GB News, a new poll commissioned by Byline Times suggests.

The opinion poll of UK voters was conducted this week by pollsters We Think and suggests that a majority of voters would back an outright ban on politicians presenting on news and current affairs channels.

However, it comes after broadcasting regulators Ofcom gave the green light to Nigel Farage and other un-elected politicians to continue presenting on channels like GB News, even during the upcoming general election campaign.

Justifying their decision, Ofcom said that they had commissioned research which showed that there was “no clear [public] consensus for an outright ban.”

However, the new polling conducted for this paper this week found that across the population as a whole, 63% of those surveyed would support an outright ban on politicians presenting news and current affairs shows, compared to just 37% who disagreed.

There is majority support for a ban among supporters of all major political parties, and among all age groups and regions, the poll suggests.


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The findings come after experts questioned Ofcom’s claims about their research, which was based on a series of focus groups conducted by pollsters Ipsos.

In a piece republished by this paper, former Ofcom Partner for Content and Standards, Stewart Purvis pointed out that contrary to the regulator’s claims, the Ipsos research actually found that “The most prevalent opinion held among participants was feeling uncomfortable with politicians presenting current affairs content”.

Purvis also points out that those questioned for Ofcom’s research do not appear to have been “asked what they thought of the fact that the politicians who present on GB News all come from the same side of the political divide.”

Ofcom have been heavily criticised within the industry for their apparent reluctance to impose sanctions on GB News, despite repeatedly finding them in breach of their impartiality rules.

The channel, which employs multiple Conservative and right-wing politicians including Farage and Jacob Rees-Mogg, is soon to be joined by former Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Since going on air, the channel has been found to have breached impartiality rules a record number of times, but has so far avoided any significant sanction.

In an interview last month Ofcom’s CEO Melanie Dawes suggested that regulators should hold GB News to “different” standards to other broadcasters like BBC News due to their relatively small audience.

However, following threatened legal challenge by the Good Law Project, the regulator issued a statement implying that Dawes had misspoken and that “the same rules and assessment process apply to all broadcasters”.

GB News has continued to build a growing but niche audience for its brand of right-wing news and opinion content, despite losing tens of millions of pounds each year.

However, an investigation by this paper found that the UK Government is now the biggest advertising funder of the channel.

Despite GB News often platforming racists and conspiracy theorists, and facing record numbers of Ofcom investigations, more than £1 million of UK taxpayer money has been spent on almost 10,500 ads since the channel launched in summer 2021. 

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