£75,000 fine for talkRadio over three episodes of George Galloway programme

talkRADIO has been fined £75,000 by the industry regulator Ofcom, after three complaints about former presenter George Galloway were upheld.

The station has also been told to broadcast a summary of the regulator’s findings, relating to comments made on air between March and August 2018.

The complaints related to a discussion on the poisoning of Yulia and Sergei Skripal in Salisbury and allegations of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.

Ofcom rules say that broadcasters must remain duly impartial when covering matters of major political controversy. The regulator ruled the station failed to do so in each of the three episodes of the George Galloway programme which received the complaints.

Galloway left the station last June following comments he posted on Twitter.

In making the decision to issue a £75,000 fine, Ofcom said it had ‘carefully considered the nature and level of statutory sanction that should be imposed’, taking into account ‘the seriousness of the breaches, the Licensee’s representations, the Licensee’s size and financial position, and relevant precedent cases’.

The regulator said in its view “the sanction is appropriate and proportionate, and should send a clear message of deterrence, both to the Licensee and also to other broadcasters, against any future breaches of a similar nature.”

You can read the full Ofcom ruling here.

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