THE UK’s media watchdog is failing to crackdown on the flouting of broadcasting rules by GB News, according to senior broadcasters.

A host of TV executives and broadcast journalists have criticised Ofcom for its failure to adequately impose its rules regarding impartiality on the right-wing channel.

GB News is currently the subject of 13 investigations, with many pertaining to programmes hosted by Conservative Party MPs including Jacob Rees-Mogg and husband and wife duo Esther McVey and Philip Davies.

Its latest investigation into the channel came following Rishi Sunak’s hosting of a GB News show where he took questions from a live audience.

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The programme received hundreds of complains which questioned where it broke impartiality rules by failing to include other political perspectives.

ITN executive Stewart Purvis said many of the Ofcom investigations appeared to be taking too long.

He told The Guardian: ““Some of these cases are very old and you find yourself thinking: what are they waiting for?”

While former Sky News political editor Adam Boulton said the channel was “deliberately taking the piss in terms of violating the conventions that we have grown up with in British broadcasting, of attempting to be duly impartial.”

The National: Since launching in 2021 GB News has been subject to numerous Ofcom investigationsSince launching in 2021 GB News has been subject to numerous Ofcom investigations

He added: “Frankly, Ofcom has been supine – for understandable reasons – because it’s been clear that the government of the day is sympathetic to GB News.

“Balance and impartiality means that you present, evenhandedly, a broad range of opinions – aware that you have to be prepared to respond to complaints that people think you’re being unfair.

“What we’ve got with GB News is conservative and right-wing politicians interviewing each other, essentially a mix of softball questions to them and right-wing politics.

“My understanding, as someone with 40 years’ experience in broadcasting, is that that would be seen by most people as a violation of the rules.”

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While former BBC North America editor and News Agents host Jon Sopel said a lack of enforcement was leading the UK closer to an US-style news ecosystem.

“In the US, I witnessed the polarisation of TV, where it was not news to inform but to affirm what people already thought, and I thought that was such a dangerous road to go down,” he said.

“I’m not suggesting that we have reached that point in the UK but we have had a broadcasting ecosystem where there has been a duty to uphold impartiality and to report the news fairly.

“One just has to wonder what anyone would make of the BBC staging a Q&A with one party leader in the week of a byelection or, for example, it gave a show to a Labour MP.

“I have a lot of respect for Ofcom, but what I cannot understand is it allowing GB News to do things that no other broadcaster would be allowed to get away with.”

The National: Jacob Rees-Mogg in the GB News studio

An Ofcom spokesperson said the regulator “acts with complete independence under the powers given to us by parliament. Government has no role or influence in our decision-making.

“Under the Broadcasting Code, politicians cannot act as a newsreader, interviewer or reporter in any news programmes unless, exceptionally, it is editorially justified. The rule is clear that this applies only to news content.

“Our rules apply equally to all broadcasters, and where we have cause to investigate, we publish fully reasoned decisions based on the evidence. At all times, we take into account the fundamental importance of freedom of expression and media plurality.”

It comes after Lee Anderson had the Tory whip removed for comments he made while being interviewed on GB News on Friday.