OFCOM upholds Labour complaint on Tower Hamlets budget coverage

A television channel has been censored by OFCOM over its reporting of the Tower Hamlets council budget meeting in February.

The coverage, by Bengali broadcaster Channel S, which has a large audience in the the East End, was the subject of a complaint from Tower Hamlets Labour group on the basis that its coverage was not balanced or politically impartial.

The report carried footage of statements from Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman, but did not contain any coverage of opposing viewpoints from Labour or Conservative members of the council.

OFCOM have now upheld Labour’s complaint, ruling that the channel’s coverage breached rule 5.1 of their guide, which states that news must be reported with due accuracy and impartiality.

Leader of Tower Hamlets Labour group councillor Joshua Peck said: “Ofcom’s judgement is a welcome intervention in what has been a worryingly one sided style of reporting. It is important that TV organisations like Channel S meet their duty to the public and present all views with impartiality.

“The Channel S defence that they were not aware of opposing views to the Mayor’s budget just does not ring true.”