Radio presenter loses Nazi insult appeal

On 13 July, radio presenter Jon Gaunt, lost his judicial review against Ofcom’s decision to censure him for describing a councillor as a Nazi. Ofcom had found a breach of the broadcasting code after Gaunt accused Redbridge Councillor Michael Stark of being a “Nazi”, “health Nazi” and an “ignorant pig” during a live debate on talkSPORT about a policy banning smokers from becoming foster parents. However, despite the ruling the High Court established significant free speech rights for broadcasters. It recognised that “shock jock” style presenting constitutes political speech and thus must be afforded a great deal of protection. Furthermore, the term “Nazi” could and was used as political slang without denoting a political or ideological position. However, OFCOM’s initial verdict was upheld because Gaunt “lost his rag” and gratuitously offended the councillor by describing him as a an “ignorant pig”. Gaunt intends to appeal the decision.