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Ofcom warning after MP's outburst


Nick Herbert swore during a live political TV show

Nick Herbert swore during a live political TV show

Nick Herbert swore during a live political TV show

Media regular Ofcom has warned broadcasters to be vigilant about briefing guests on live TV shows in the wake of a four-letter outburst from a Tory MP during a lunchtime political programme.

Former prisons minister Nick Herbert used the term "f***wit" while appearing as one of the guests on BBC2's Daily Politics programme in May this year which led to an apology from the corporation

Ofcom received five complaints from viewers and investigated the incident as a possible breach of standards but is not taking any further action over the broadcast.

Mr Herbert defended his actions at the time, pointing out he used the term "disapprovingly" while quoting from a disparaging comment he claimed had been made by a fellow guest, former police officer Peter Kirkham, in reference to Home Secretary Theresa May.

Presenter of the programme Jo Coburn upbraided Mr Herbert and cautioned him to speak "without repeating any of those expletives". She later offered an apology to viewers and said the language was unacceptable.

Ofcom said today that because of the presenter's swift intervention and apology, together with the fact it was unlikely children would be watching, it concluded that the matter has been "resolved".

But in a report published today it said: "Ofcom reminds all broadcasters that they should consider carefully their processes for briefing guests appearing on live programmes."