Entertainment & Arts

Ofcom will not investigate complaints over Sky News Owen Jones item

Julia Hartley-Brewer and Owen Jones Image copyright Sky
Image caption Julia Hartley-Brewer and Owen Jones appeared on Sky News's Press Preview

Ofcom has said it will not investigate a Sky News segment which prompted journalist Owen Jones to leave the set.

A press preview feature on 12 June saw Jones reviewing the following day's newspaper headlines, which referred to the Orlando nightclub attack.

Ofcom investigated whether Sky's Mark Longhurst and columnist Julia Hartley-Brewer appeared to "dismiss Jones's view that the attack... specifically targeted the LGBT community".

Ofcom received 253 complaints.

'Astonishing'

It said: "After careful consideration, we won't be taking the matter forward for investigation."

The segment saw Jones reviewing the following day's newspaper headlines alongside Hartley-Brewer, who is also a radio presenter.

While on air, Jones described the discussion as "one of the most astonishing things I've ever been involved with on television".

Referring to the Orlando attack, he said: "This has to be called out for what it is - it was an intentional attack on LGBT people... it was a homophobic terrorist attack."

Longhurst responded by suggesting it was an attack "against human beings... it's an attack on the freedom of all people to try and enjoy themselves".

Hartley Brewer then said the attacker "would probably be as horrified by me as a gobby woman" as he would by the LGBT community.

In its statement, Ofcom said: "We found that neither person responded to Owen Jones in a way that caused unjustified offence.

"Both [Longhurst and Hartley-Brewer] were simply attempting to highlight the impact of terror attacks on society more broadly."


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