Kay Burley’s decision to “empty chair” James Cleverly will not lead to a formal investigation after Ofcom assessed the whole programme.
The media watchdog received 271 complaints over the Sky News presenter’s actions.
Burley claimed the Conservative Party chairman missed a planned appearance on her breakfast show, although the Tory MP responded that he was not due to appear.
Burley addressed a vacant seat with planned questions for the Tory politician.
The “fuming” news host “empty-chaired” the Conservative Party chairman and ran through a list of election campaign scandals, U-turns, embarrassments and inadequacies that she had been hoping to grill him on while “he is probably 15 feet from where I am standing”.
The list included:
- Boris Johnson using the Telegraph where he has a lucrative column to compare Corbyn to mass-murdering Communist Russian leader Stalin and the Gulag camps where millions died.
- “Why on earth” Jacob Rees-Mogg was still a member of the cabinet after his appalling comments “suggesting he was smarter than the people who perished” in the Grenfell tragedy.
- Calls for the Conservative’s Welsh Secretary to resign.
- Whether a Conservative Government would backtrack on assurances to avoid a no-deal Brexit by extending negotiations if necessary.
- The row over Sajid Javid using civil servants and the public purse to cost Labour policies for Tory electioneering.
- Why the report into Russian interference in UK politics had been suppressed until after the election.
- Whether it was a good idea to start the election campaign defending billionaires.
“Where on earth is he? He is 15 feet away from me, James Cleverly, who is the chair of the Conservative Party,” snapped the Sky News presenter infuriated by the Tory Party chairman hiding from her.
“And he says he will not come on this programme to answer all of those allegations”.
But after assessing whether the two-hour programme breached rules on due impartiality, an Ofcom spokeswoman said: “We assessed complaints about the presenter’s treatment of the Conservative Party chairman.
“Having assessed the programme as a whole, we were satisfied that the viewpoint of the Conservatives was given sufficient weight to maintain due impartiality.
“This included a repeated clip of James Cleverly discussing his party’s ambitions for the election campaign.”
Mr Cleverly denied that he had been due to attend, saying: “I like to think I’m a pretty decent multitasker, but I cannot physically be in two places at the same time.”