The UK’s broadcasting regulator Ofcom is investigating comments made by the conspiracy theorist David Icke about the origins of the coronavirus in an interview with a local TV station.
London Live sparked criticism after it broadcast the interview last week, in which Icke shared unsubstantiated views on the outbreak of Covid-19.
The former footballer and sports commentator, who previously claimed the world is run by reptiles, has faced accusations of antisemitism from Jewish groups.
A statement from the Community Security Trust in 2017 described Icke as “essentially a hate preacher with a 21st century spin on a very old antisemitic conspiracy theory.”
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden urged Ofcom to take action against the programme last week, saying that Icke’s comments amounted to “lunatic conspiracy theories”.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “You are absolutely right, these are lunatic conspiracy theories and no sensible person would give them a moment’s thought.”
A London Live spokeswoman said: “We are aware of the culture secretary’s comments and have proactively contacted Ofcom to offer our cooperation and support as part of their assessment.
“We will continue to work closely with Ofcom throughout this process.”
An Ofcom spokesman said: “We are assessing this programme as a priority.”
Icke has previously been invited onto chat shows by broadcasters including the BBC and ITV to discuss some of his conspiracy theories.