View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

  1. News
November 5, 2018updated 30 Sep 2022 7:02am

Ofcom not investigating Sky News interview with Tommy Robinson despite more than 3,000 ‘bias’ complaints

By James Walker

Broadcast regulator Ofcom will not investigate alleged bias in a Sky News interview with Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, aka Tommy Robinson, despite receiving more than 3,000 complaints.

Press Gazette understands that most of the 3,463 complaints came from Robinson’s supporters who allege bias and defamation of character in Sky News’ editing of the interview with the English Defence League founder. 

Robinson also recorded the interview and broadcast it in full on 27 September 2018 on his Youtube channel.

The description read: “Watch this and then watch the eight minute edit that Jason Farrell and Sky News did of this interview.  

“You will see the media agenda.  They show you what they want you to see.”

He has since called the interview “disgusting” on his Facebook page.

During the interview, Robinson discussed being found guilty of contempt of court last year and his attitudes toward Muslims and Islam.

Content from our partners
Pugpig named best media technology partner of 2024 by AOP
Cannes Lions: The world's best creativity all in one place
L'Equipe signs content syndication deal with The Content Exchange

Sky News’ was criticised by those who felt the broadcaster was giving a platform to the far-right. 

Robinson took particular issue with a Sky News piece on the interview headlined: “Tommy Robinson: I don’t care if I incite fear of Muslims”.

In a statement, an Ofcom spokesperson said: “We considered a number of complaints from viewers about Sky News’ editing of this interview.

“Broadcasters can decide how to conduct and edit interviews however they choose to, as long as the content complies with our rules.

“If the subject of any programme feels they have been unfairly represented, we would consider that separately.”

Sky News and Robinson has been contacted for comment over Ofcom’s decision not to investigate.

Broadcasters are not obliged to air full interviews under Ofcom rules as long as they comply with its rules on impartiality.

Robinson called the media “the enemy of the people” when he appeared outside the Old Bailey late last month.

His supporters chanted “scum” at journalists reporting on his contempt of court hearing.

Picture: Reuters/Andrew Winning

Topics in this article : ,

Email to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network