An interview with David Icke in which he shares his unsubstantiated views on the causes of the COVID-19 outbreak is being investigated by Ofcom.
The media watchdog say it was assessing the former footballer’s comments on coronavirus “as a priority”.
A well-known conspiracy theorist, Icke’s earlier assertions include his claim that the world is run by reptiles and the royal family are lizards.
His comments on coronavirus were made during an interview with London Live on Wednesday evening in a programme called London Real: COVID-19.
The one-hour and 45-minute programme hosted by entrepreneur Brian Rose was billed by the local television channel as “David Icke talks about his theory behind the pandemic, the lockdown and the economic crash”.
A tweet posted on London Live’s official Twitter page ahead of the show shared a minute of the interview in which Icke talks about a hypothetical coronavirus vaccine being “mandatory” and therefore an act of “fascism”.
During advert breaks, London Live displayed a notice saying: “The views expressed in this programme are those of the individual articulating them and not necessarily those of London Live.”
They also provided the address of the government’s Covid-19 website.
Ofcom received 19 complaints about the show.
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London Live is owned by Russian businessman Evgeny Lebedev, who also owns the Evening Standard newspaper and Independent website.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said Icke’s comments amounted to “lunatic conspiracy theories” and he would expect Ofcom “take appropriate action”, during a BBC Radio 4 interview.
London Live say it was cooperating with Ofcom’s assessment.
The investigation follows Ofcom’s ruling just last week that a local radio station had breached its rules after one of its guests suggested the pandemic was caused by the rollout of 5G mobile technology.
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They said the views of the guest speaking on Uckfield FM “were not sufficiently challenged” and could “undermine people’s trust in the advice of mainstream sources of information”.
Spurious claims linking the spread of the coronavirus to 5G masts have been discredited by experts.
Another of Icke’s videos, in which he reportedly links 5G technology and COVID-19, was earlier removed from YouTube.
The streaming site says it is cracking down on “harmful misinformation” around the pandemic and will “quickly remove” any videos sharing fake news around COVID-19.
London Live has been contacted for comment.
Source : Sky News