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3 April 2023

GB News’s pipeline to Downing Street

Rishi Sunak’s plan to tackle “grooming gangs” closely follows a documentary on the topic.

By The Chatterer

On Saturday 11 February GB News broadcast Grooming Gangs: Britain’s Shame. The documentary, on “grooming”, sexual abuse and exploitation of children by organised criminal “gangs” across the UK, was the channel’s first investigative programme.

This morning (3 April) several national newspaper front pages carried the news of Rishi Sunak’s plan to stamp out “evil” grooming gangs. The Prime Minister will announce a new task force supported by the National Crime Agency, with data analysis used to help the police to “identify the types of criminals who carry out these offences”. The task force will use data on the ethnicity of offenders, which police forces have been required to collect since April last year.

Labour described the plans as “hopelessly inadequate, belated and narrow” and focused on “short-term headlines”.

What has been missed in the coverage is the fact that Sunak’s announcement comes less than two months after the GB News documentary. Coincidence? The Chatterer has heard that it’s not.

Directly influencing the government is a straightforward win for GB News. The (often embattled) channel usually makes the headlines for other reasons – such as Ofcom finding that ex-presenter Mark Steyn was in breach of broadcasting rules.

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GB News may not be taken that seriously across the British media, but it is being taken seriously by the government.

[See also: Channel 4’s Consent starkly illustrates the sexual harassment epidemic in schools]

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