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Ukip docudrama 'didn't breach code'

Published 18/05/2015

A scene from the docudrama Ukip: The First 100 Days as watchdog Ofcom ruled the programme did not breach the Broadcasting Code
A scene from the docudrama Ukip: The First 100 Days as watchdog Ofcom ruled the programme did not breach the Broadcasting Code

A Channel 4 docudrama which imagined a future in which Ukip won the general election has been cleared by the broadcasting watchdog.

The show, portraying Nigel Farage as Prime Minister, sparked 6,000 complaints.

Ukip: The First 100 Days depicted rioting on the streets in the wake of a Ukip 2015 general election victory and combined archive footage with imagined scenes.

An Ofcom spokesman said: "Ofcom carefully investigated this dramatisation of what the first 100 days under a Ukip government would be like and has found the programme did not breach the Broadcasting Code.

"We found it was not misleading, taking account that it was clearly presented as a fictional drama, and that the depictions of Ukip policy were closely based on the party's recent announcements, in particular on immigration and the EU.

"It was duly impartial because it included numerous statements, both from archive clips and from actors, who expressed support for Ukip and its policies."

The programme - which depicted riots between protesters for and against tough anti-immigration raids - was strongly condemned by Mr Farage.

''Look like 100 Days Of Ukip may well have backfired on Channel 4. A biased, partisan depiction of the only party that Believes in Britain,'' he wrote on his Twitter feed at the time.

Channel 4 had said ''a lot of research'' went into the film and that Mr Farage had been invited to watch it before it was broadcast and then to do an interview afterwards but he declined.

Mr Farage previously appeared in an alcohol-fuelled Gogglebox special on Channel 4, with ''posh couple'' Steph and Dom Parker.

Ofcom is investigating whether ITV breakfast show Good Morning Britain broke impartiality rules in an interview with Mr Farage.

The interview, in which Mr Farage was asked about his chances of becoming an MP, was broadcast on May 1 in the run-up to the general election, when he was defeated by Conservative candidate Craig Mackinlay.

An Ofcom spokesman said: "Ofcom is investigating whether the programme was duly impartial to ask Nigel Farage about his prospects of winning the Thanet South constituency without reflecting the position of other candidates."

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