MPs and the Board of Deputies of British Jews have called on GB News to tackle “conspiratorial antisemitism or other misinformation” they say is broadcast on the channel, and urged Ofcom to act if it doesn’t.
The highly unusual statements from the Board of Deputies and the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) against Antisemitism follow a recent broadcast of Neil Oliver’s weekly show that talked about a “silent war” against Brits.
The controversial GB News presenter delivered his trademark monologue to camera last Saturday saying that British politicians are waging a “silent war” to take “total control of the people” and impose a “one-world government”.
According to The Guardian, the monologue appeared to reference a conspiracy theory document called Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars, which is supposedly a secret manual to build a world government. It has a long section that entertains the common antisemitic trope of the role of the Rothschilds.
One of Oliver’s main guests on the show was William Keyte, a supporter of a fringe campaign organisation called the New Chartist Movement, but was introduced to the audience as a “constitutional expert”.
Articles written by other members and contributors on The New Chartist Movement’s website contain ideas that link to antisemitism, including one that argues that the “corporate and banking Deep State, completely supported by the Zionist state of Israel” plan to take over UK politics, and another says that the “House of Rothschild” has a central role in global affairs.
The website also has pieces written by David Icke, a conspiracy theorist who as previously claimed that a shadowy cabal controls the world.
In a statement to the Guardian newspaper, Keyte said that his interest was in constitutional law, saying: “It seems a shame that rather than focus on the important issues I raised in the interview with Neil in which so many people appear to be interested, you seem to be embarking on a piece about antisemitism. I do not condone antisemitism, but nor do I support the use of the subject to detract from other important issues.”
A spokesperson for the Board of Deputies told the publication: “It is highly concerning that GB News continues to air a show which embraces all manner of conspiracy theories. Somewhat inevitably, some of those invited on to this show represent organisations that promote antisemitic conspiracy theories. If the channel will not act, we expect that Ofcom will.”
And Nicola Richards, the Conservative MP who co-chairs the APPG against antisemitism, said: “Media diversity is incredibly important but not at the expense of professional standards. These developments should be of concern to GB News editors, owners, and producers and I hope they will be carefully reviewing them.
“With any public platform, there is a responsibility not to open the door to conspiratorial antisemitism or other misinformation. No doubt Ofcom will be keeping a close eye on developments at GB News but let’s hope that the channel will get its house in order.”
Media watchdog Ofcom is examining whether to investigate Oliver’s show after it received a complaint. An Ofcom spokesperson told the JC: “We are assessing the complaint against our broadcasting rules, but are yet to decide whether or not to investigate.”
A GB News spokesperson told the Guardian: “GB News abhors racism and hate in all its forms and would never allow it on the channel.”
Oliver has previously been criticised for remarks he made on the show comparing European covid lockdowns to Nazi propaganda as well as interviewing Youtuber Peter Sweden, who has attracted outrage from Jewish groups for past social media posts appearing to deny the Holocaust.