Tuesday 3 December 2019 12:12 pm

Boris Johnson complaint over Channel 4 melting ice sculpture rejected by Ofcom

There was nothing wrong with Channel 4’s use of a melting ice sculpture to represent Prime Minister Boris Johnson during its climate debate after he refused to turn up, according to Ofcom.

Following the televised debate, the Conservative party lodged a complaint with the media regulator, but this has been rejected.

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Ofcom said the use of the ice sculpture “did not raise issues warranting further investigation” under impartiality rules.


It serves as a rebuttal to the Conservatives’ subsequent threat to review Channel 4’s broadcasting remit after what the party called “a provocative partisan stunt”.

Johnson failed to attend Channel 4’s debate over the environment last week, as did Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage. All other leaders of Britain’s major political parties appeared on the live show.

Ofcom said Channel 4 had “ensured that the Conservative’s viewpoint on climate and environmental issues was adequately reflected and given due weight”.

“The committee also took into account that the globe ice sculpture was not a representation of the Prime Minister personally, and little editorial focus was given to it, either visually or in references made by the presenter or debate participants.”

Read more: John McDonnell says Boris Johnson is ‘playing’ the BBC

Last week Ben de Pear, the editor of Channel 4 News, said the decision to replace Johnson and Farage was justified.

He said: “These two ice sculptures represent the emergency on planet Earth, not in any human form but are a visual metaphor for the Conservative and Brexit parties after their leaders declined our repeated invitations to attend tonight’s vital climate debate.”

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