Ofcom issues statement on GB News following hundreds of complaints over lockdown debate

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  • Ofcom has released a statement in response to 390 complaints it received over lockdown remarks made on GB News.

    Governing body Ofcom has spoken out over 390 complaints it received regarding the GB News programme.

    The new organisation, which only launched last month, has come under fire from viewers over the way it handled its coverage of lockdown restrictions.

    It comes after This Morning and GMB received Ofcom complaints from viewers over the way those shows dealt with the Covid vaccine row and ‘ditching’ unvaccinated friends respectively.

    The complaints were in relation to Tonight Live, hosted by Dan Wootton, and it was the episode broadcast on 13th June in which caused viewers to be particularly vocal after Dan made comments referring to the effectiveness of lockdown restrictions.

    And now Ofcom has ruled that it won’t be formally investigating the channel further.

    In a statement published by Ofcom it said, “Our rules allow for rigorous debate around the response to coronavirus, which is consistent with the right to free expression.”

    For anyone who missed the show, Dan, told viewers, “It’s increasingly clear now that there is a move among some public health officials and politicians to create an ultra-cautious biosecurity state, copying the likes of China,” Dan claimed.

    “Boris Johnson has bottled it. Freedom Day won’t take place next Monday, Britain won’t be open again. We will still be haunted by the pandemic despite having the world’s best vaccine rollout.

    “Lockdowns are crude measures. Mark my words in the years to come we will discover they have caused far more deaths and devastation than the government has ever admitted.”

    Dan went on to criticise “doomsday scientists” for the extension of the lockdown deadline, and insisted they had “taken control”.

    But despite some viewers being outraged by his comments, Ofcom believed the show remained impartial.

    The Ofcom spokesperson added, “In our view, this programme included a range of different viewpoints, including on the merits and effectiveness of lockdown restrictions, and guests were able to challenge views they disagreed with.”

    You can watch GB News, 24-7, in a variety of ways including on Sky on channel 515, Freeview channel 236, and Virgin Media channel 626. It will also broadcast on Freesat channel 216 and YouView channel 236.

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