Entertainment & Arts

Ofcom to probe Choudary comments

Anjem Choudary
Image caption Choudary refused to condemn the killing of Lee Rigby

Ofcom has launched an investigation into interviews broadcast on BBC, ITV and Channel 4 with radical cleric Anjem Choudary in the days following the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby.

Choudary refused to condemn the killing in a series of interviews.

The media regulator received more than 20 complaints from viewers that the preacher's comments were offensive.

Ofcom confirmed it was examining whether the broadcasts "met generally accepted standards".

Fusilier Rigby was killed on 22 May in Woolwich, south-east London, by two men who were subsequently shot by police.

Michael Adebolajo, 28, from Romford, east London, and Michael Adebowale, 22, from Greenwich, south-east London, are accused of murder.

During an interview with Kirsty Wark on BBC Two's Newsnight on 23 May - one day after the attack - Choudary said he had encountered Adebolajo at a number of Islamist demonstrations.

"When I saw what took place I was shocked... but what he said in the clip, I think not many Muslims can disagree with," he said.

Wark made repeated attempts to get Choudary to condemn the killing.

Separate interviews with Choudary were broadcast on Channel 4 News on 23 May and ITV's Daybreak on 24 May which viewers also found offensive.

The TV appearances were criticised by several politicians, including Baroness Warsi, the Conservative peer and faith and communities minister.

Labour's shadow defence secretary, Jim Murphy said the media gave too much airtime to Choudary's controversial views.

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