Ofcom’s decision to prioritise investigations into comments made by Eamonn Holmes and David Icke about coronavirus has been welcomed by the chairman of a committee of MPs.
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee chairman Julian Knight said we “cannot let up in this battle to stamp out dangerous narratives” about Covid-19.
On Monday, Holmes said on ITV’s This Morning it is “very easy” to dismiss theories 5G is linked to the coronavirus outbreak “because it suits the state narrative”.
The next day, the presenter said he would like to “clarify” his comments, adding there is “no scientific evidence to substantiate any 5G theories”.
He did not apologise, however, and said he had been “misinterpreted”.
Last week, media watchdog Ofcom said it was assessing an appearance by conspiracy theorist Icke on London Live, in which he shared his unsubstantiated views on the causes behind the outbreak of Covid-19.
Mr Knight said the DCMS Committee will be “rigorous in demanding action to deal with those responsible” for spreading falsehoods about Covid-19″.
He added: “I welcome Ofcom’s decision to expedite its investigations into the David Icke interview on London Live and Eamonn Holmes’ comments about 5G on ITV.
“It is reassuring to hear that the Chinese GCTN broadcaster is also being investigated.”
Ofcom chief executive Melanie Dawes has said the regulator is “prioritising the enforcement of broadcast standards” in relation to content about coronavirus.
The theory that 5G is linked to Covid-19 has been widely discredited by experts.
Brendan Wren, professor of microbial pathogenesis at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, previously said a connection between the technology and the virus would be “both a physical and biological impossibility”.