TELEVISION regulator Ofcom has received about 100 complaints about ITV daytime show This Morning and is considering whether to launch an investigation after presenter Phillip Schofield confronted David Cameron with a list of alleged paedophiles.
During the live show on Thursday, Schofield handed the Prime Minister a list of names – understood to be Conservative Party figures – put together from internet rumours.
The “outrageous stunt” was widely criticised by politicians and the presenter was later forced to apologise after the list was briefly exposed on screen.
Rob Wilson, a Conservative MP, reported the programme to Ofcom and urged it to investigate whether ITV had breached its duty to give individuals a chance to respond before subjecting them to serious allegations on-screen.
The regulator is expected to make a decision about whether it should investigate the matter within 15 working days.
A spokesman for Ofcom said: “We can confirm that we have received complaints about this issue, which we are assessing. No decision has been made at this stage to investigate.”
After being handed the list, which Schofield said he had assembled after trawling the internet for three minutes, the Prime Minister warned that internet discussions of an alleged paedophile ring could degenerate into a “witch-hunt” against people who are gay.
Schofield was absent from yesterday’s This Morning – he and co-host Holly Willoughby hand over presenting duties to Eamonn Holmes and his wife Ruth Langsford each Friday.
But the programme team emphasised they were not pointing the finger at anyone in particular. Langsford reiterated to viewers Schofield’s point about a “misjudged camera angle” and added: “The programme was not accusing anyone of anything.”