Ofcom has upheld complaints made by Tory MP Rob Wilson against the BBC and ITV over Lord McAlpine. Here are their findings on just how Philip Schofield came to flash the names of alleged ‘political paedophiles’ at the camera live on air during an interview with the PM:
“A brief search on Google revealed various articles, blogs and posts repeatedly naming a number of senior political figures alleged to have been connected with child abuse. ITV said that Mr Schofield had spent approximately two hours reading this material. Mr Schofield formulated the idea, in the context of discussing the prospect of an overarching inquiry into the various child abuse scandals, of handing the Prime Minister a list of the individuals that he had repeatedly seen named online, to illustrate the fact that there was widespread speculation on the internet about these individuals, and to ask the Prime Minister for his view about it.”
Costing ITV £125,000.
Rob Wilson is meanwhile twisting the knife into the BBC, telling Guido:
“The BBC has shown itself to be utterly two-faced. While being fulsomely apologetic in public and paying off Lord McAlpine with licence fee payers’ money, behind the scenes the BBC has been fighting tooth and nail against the charges that it breached the relevant broadcasting rules. If the BBC had its way, it would be completely open to broadcasters to smear individuals in the same way in future.”