TalkRadio fined £75,000 over George Galloway’s antisemitism comments

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TalkRadio fined £75,000 over George Galloway’s antisemitism comments

Radio station must pay out after former MP broke impartiality rules when discussing Jew-hate in Labour, including a reference to it being 'a giant Goebbellian lie'

George Galloway
George Galloway

TalkRadio has been fined £75,000 for allowing George Galloway to breach impartiality rules when discussing antisemitism.

The left-wing former MP and talk show host broadcast skewed views of Labour’s antisemitism crisis on 27 July 2018, using inferences taken directly from the Third Reich, when railing against those who felt the Party had a problem.

He said they were “literally summoning up the demons of Nazism against Britain’s finest anti-fascist”. He added that it was “a giant Goebbellian lie that Jeremy Corbyn not only hates Jews but that… the existence of Jewish life in Britain is threatened”.

Galloway, who once declared Bradford to be an “Israel-free zone” while representing the city, also breached impartiality rules over his coverage of the Salisbury chemical weapons attack on a former Russian spy by serving Russian agents.

He was sacked from the radio station last summer after Tottenham Hotspur Football Club accused him of an antisemitic tweet.

A year earlier, Galloway described allegations of antisemitism as “bogus” while hosting a left-wing commentator who said they were “fake allegations” orchestrated by “the pro-Israel lobby” to “silence criticism” of Israel.

Galloway also called a listener who disagreed with him a “gutless coward” and “ignorant moron,” leading to the Ofcom ruling that TalkRadio failed to preserve impartiality on a “matter of major political controversy” by not showcasing “a wide range of alternative viewpoints”.

Ofcom added that the station, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, “ought to have known that Mr Galloway had strong views on the issue of allegations of antisemitism in the Labour Party”.

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