Fox News 'Birmingham is no-go zone for non-Muslims' comment found in violation of broadcasting code

Watchdog slams channel over guest's comment that non-Muslims are too afraid to travel to 'cities like Birmingham'

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The Independent Online

Fox News has been found in breach of the broadcasting code following comments by one of its interviewees that Birmingham was a 'no-go zone' for non-Muslims.

An Ofcom investigation found the statement, made on the Fox News programme Justice with Jeanine Pirro, to be "clearly misleading" and in breach of the code.

In January the US channel broadcast Steven Emerson, a so-called terrorism expert, saying: "In Britain there are not just 'no-go zones', there are actually cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim, where non-Muslims just simply don't go in."

Emmerson later apologised for his comments and said he thought Birmingham was "beautiful".

In its report Ofcom said: "In Ofcom's view it was clearly misleading for the Programme to have stated categorically that Paris contained 'no-go zones' and that Birmingham was 'totally Muslim' and a city 'where non-Muslims simply don't go in'."

At the time, Emmerson's assertion was roundly criticised on social media and spawned the hashtag #FoxNewsFacts.

Only about 22 per cent of Birmingham's population are Muslims, according to 2011 census data.