Entertainment & Arts

Ofcom probes BBC Daily Politics over swearing

Jo Coburn and Andrew Neil
Image caption Presenter Jo Coburn apologised at the end of the show over Nick Herbert's comment

Media regulator Ofcom has launched an investigation into BBC Two's Daily Politics show after a Conservative MP swore during a live edition.

Five viewers complained after former police minister Nick Herbert used the swear word while quoting another guest.

Presenter Jo Coburn interrupted Mr Herbert and offered a full apology at the end of the show, which was broadcast at midday on 22 May.

Ofcom will investigate whether the BBC breached broadcasting standards.

During the programme, Mr Herbert had been asked whether police would react badly to a recent speech made by Home Secretary Teresa May.

In his response, he quoted a disparaging remark which he claimed fellow guest and former policeman Peter Kirkham had made on Twitter about Mrs May.


Coburn interrupted the politician, telling him "we won't have any more of that" and cautioned him to speak "without repeating any of those expletives".

Mr Herbert later defended his actions, saying he had used the term "disapprovingly".

In addition to the presenter's on-air apology, the BBC also issued a formal apology saying: "Daily Politics is a live programme and, as with any live broadcast, occasionally slip-ups may happen.

"We apologised to viewers for any offence caused."

Ofcom has an obligation under the broadcasting code to investigate cases which might cause potential harm or offence.

An investigation does not necessarily mean the broadcaster involved has done anything wrong and not all investigations result in breaches of the broadcasting code.

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