Video: Breakfast show in hot water as 'Tory paedophile list' shown on live TV
Published 09/11/2012 | 08:46
TELEVISION show This Morning is facing a possible investigation after presenter Phillip Schofield brandished a list of alleged paedophiles during a live TV interview with David Cameron.
Broadcasting regulator Ofcom confirmed it had received "a few" complaints about the daytime programme after Mr Schofield yesterday confronted the Prime Minister with names - understood to be Conservative Party figures - that he had put together after trawling internet rumours.
The presenter was forced to apologise after the list was briefly exposed on screen and was later widely denounced by politicians for the "outrageous stunt".
Rob Wilson, a Conservative MP, reported the ITV1 programme to Ofcom and urged it to investigate whether ITV had breached its duty to give individuals a chance to respond before subjecting them to serious allegations on-screen.
Tory Stuart Andrew, who was a Wrexham councillor at the time of the north Wales inquiries, denounced Schofield's ambush as "completely irresponsible and an outrageous stunt". Mr Andrew said: "It is not acceptable to take a cheap shot on something that is so fiercely sensitive."
But Mr Cameron was also criticised for conflating homosexuality and child abuse after he warned of the danger that discussion on the internet of an alleged paedophile ring could degenerate into a witch-hunt against people who were gay.
Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, said: "There is no reason why he should link the current scandals with gay people or warn of an anti-gay witch-hunt. The current investigations concern paedophilia, not homosexuality."
Policing and Criminal Justice Minister Damian Green told BBC Question Time on Thursday night that Schofield's actions were "tasteless and silly". He said: "What the Prime Minister was warning about is that if we just start plastering names all over the place, of people against whom there may be no evidence, it may well turn into a witch-hunt and clearly because of the attitudes towards gay people at the time, in the 80s, many of them are likely to be on it."
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Clearly the Prime Minister can't be expected to comment on individuals on live television. You can't have this being driven by internet frenzies. What you need is proper criminal investigations to get to the truth."
She repeated Labour's call for a single over-arching inquiry into the child sex allegations: "There are nine different non-criminal inquiries, different lessons to be learnt by different institutions. There is a danger that we have so many different, confused and competing investigations. That should be brought under a single inquiry by a child protection expert."