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.
- February 17, 2020
- February 12, 2020
- December 18, 2019
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.
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