Kay Burley 'bias' against Ed Miliband prompts 130 complaints to Ofcom

Jeremy Paxman and co-presenter Burley accused of favouring PM David Cameron

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The Independent Culture

Ofcom has received 131 complaints about bias shown towards David Cameron during the first TV debate in the run up to the general election.

The Channel 4 and Sky News debate saw Cameron and Ed Miliband grilled by Jeremy Paxman and answer questions from the studio audience in a segment chaired by Sky News presenter Kay Burley.

Commentators were quick to point out that Burley appeared to be “snipey” and “more interrogative” towards Miliband, interrupting him on a number of points while he fielded questions from the audience floor.

Burley repeatedly asked Miliband about his relationship with his brother David, whom he beat him to win the Labour leadership contest, at one point telling him: “Your poor mother”.

Paxman was accused of a personal attack on Miliband, probing him about his relationship with David and questioning whether he was “tough enough” to become Prime Minister as a “north London geek”.

An Ofcom spokesperson said: “We are assessing the complaints before deciding whether or not to investigate.”

Channel 4 also received 300 complaints about the televised debate.

A snap Guardian/ICM poll after the broadcast showed Cameron had a narrow 54 per cent lead among viewers at home.

Political commentators said there was no clear winner, with many claiming Paxman was the real victor of the night.

Cameron agreed to the live debate after weeks of stalling as Conservative strategists blocked plans for a head-to-head, fearing the Labour leader might surprise voters by performing better than his poor opinion poll ratings would suggest.