Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Jon Gaunt wins right to challenge Ofcom

Outspoken SunTalk presenter Jon Gaunt  today won permission to bring a High Court challenge over media regulator Ofcom's decision to uphold complaints against him. Gaunt was sacked by talkSPORT and censured by Ofcom after calling a Redbridge Council representative a 'Nazi', a 'Health Nazi' and an 'ignorant pig' during an on-air discussion about the Council's ban on placing vulnerable children with foster parents who smoke.
He argues that Ofcom infringed his right to free speech under article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Gaunt is being supported in his claim by human rights and civil liberties group Liberty despite having once, in a Sun column, described its director Shami Chakrabarti  as "Britain's most dangerous woman".
Chakrabarti said today: “We’re delighted that the judge granted permission in this plainly arguable and very important case for free speech. It is disappointing that Ofcom saw fit to resist even permission being granted.
"The most chilling moment involved counsel for the regulator arguing that Jon Gaunt’s comments didn’t even count as "political speech".
"Thank goodness the Human Rights Act is there to protect us from the speech police and we look forward to supporting Gaunt in the next stage of this crucial legal battle.”
Sources MediaGuardian and Liberty.
See also my post earlier today.

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