Sir John Hayes, who served as security secretary for David Cameron, has written a letter to culture secretary Oliver Dowden demanding that the operating license for the China Global Television Network (CGTN) in London be revoked.
This follows a damning report by broadcasting watchdog Ofcom on Tuesday which concluded that CGTN, owned by the Chinese Communist regime, was guilty of several violations of the rules.
Among the conclusions were failure to comply with the rules of impartiality regarding reporting of Hong Kong’s oppression and broadcasting forced confessions of detainees.
Ofcom is now waiting for a response from CGTN before deciding what sanctions will be imposed but there is a possibility that the license could be revoked.
The head of the Tory foreign election committee, Tom Tugenhat, described it as a “propaganda channel” and last week the Sunday Express revealed that British academics were used to give him a “layer of honor”.
The disclosure made by Sunday Express from CGTN activities has led, to write to the Household Secretary Priti Patel who looks at Chinese state activities in British universities.
After Ofcom’s ruling he also wrote to the culture secretary.
He notes: Ofcom has concluded that CGTN has, on five separate occasions, violated the rule of impartiality which governs news coverage and current events in the UK.
“On each of these occasions, the CGTN seeks to create narratives about the ongoing political events in Hong Kong (starting in April 2019) designed to spread the Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda, while completely excluding, or deliberately delegitimizing alternative opinions.”
Sir John added: “It is clear that CGTN exists purely for political purposes. The ongoing operation of the channel runs the risk of creating a communist narrative that slanders with the potential to influence British citizens who are dissatisfied with the current Western status-quo.
“Likewise, it makes sense to suspect that the anti-Western sentiment displayed by the outlet will radicalize Chinese citizens living in Britain, endangering social solidarity.”
He continued: “I will encourage your intervention in this matter to ensure the adoption of the only correct, decisive and proportional response – the abolition of the CGTN broadcasting license.”
CGTN has not yet responded to Sunday Express, but Tom Fowden, one of the academics who writes for channels that support the Chinese communist regime and attacks its critics, continues to be defensive this week about it.
He tweeted: “When will Ofcom investigate the BBC for its open coverage of Hong Kong protests? Doesn’t offer legitimacy to the Chinese side of the argument and makes headlines like “this is the end of Hong Kong?”
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