100 Ofcom complaints after Schofield ambushes Cameron with 'paedophile list'
The ambushing of the Prime Minister with the names of rumoured Tory paedophiles by the ITV presenter Phillip Schofield has generated more than 100 viewer complaints to Ofcom.
The television watchdog said it would consider whether to launch an investigation into the incident on Thursday’s edition of This Morning, which has been condemned by politicians of all parties. Schofield, who has apologised for what he claims was a misjudged camera angle that allowed some viewers to glimpse the list of names, did not present the popular daytime show today.
It was instead hosted by Friday regulars Eamonn Holmes and his wife, Ruth Langsford, who reiterated Mr Schofield’s apology, saying: “The programme was not accusing anyone of anything.” ITV said that neither Schofield nor any other members of production staff had been disciplined over the confrontation that was labelled an “outrageous stunt” by Conservative MPs.
The broadcasting regulator has 15 days to consider whether to take action on the matter.
An Ofcom spokesman said: “We can confirm that we have received complaints about this issue, which we are assessing. No decision has been made at this stage to investigate.”
Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper also criticised the exchange, which happened when David Cameron was invited on to the sofa to discuss a new dementia policy.
Ms Cooper told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme yesterday: “Clearly the Prime Minister can’t be expected to comment on individuals on live television. You can’t have this being driven by internet frenzies. What you need is proper criminal investigations to get to the truth.” Mr Cameron warned that internet speculation risked creating a witch-hunt that could be directed against gay people. Yesterday he described the exchange as “not sensible”.
Mr Cameron said: “It is not right to hand over a piece of paper which has on it a few names you have quickly scrabbled off the internet.
“Effectively, you are casting lots of aspersions about lots of people without any evidence.”
Among those to complain to Ofcom was Conservative MP Stuart Andrew, who was a councillor in Wrexham at the time of the initial inquiries into child-abuse allegations.
In his letter, the MP for Pudsey wrote: “Many victims may feel very frightened and anxious about coming forward with any evidence, and they need to know that they will be heard and not be sensationalised.”
Holborn fire: Chaos as 2,000 people evacuated to escape toxic smoke filling central London
University of Cambridge: Remains of 1,300 scholars are found under building
April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
April Fools' Day 2015 live: The best pranks and fake stories from around the world
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
- 3 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 4 April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
£20000 - £25000 per annum + commission: SThree: Real Staffing's Pharmaceutical...
£38000 - £40000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: A leading consu...
£12 - £15 Hourly Rate: Sheridan Maine: Are you an experienced Accounts Assista...
£21,000 - £24,000 Annual: Sheridan Maine: Are you looking for a new opportunit...