Ofcom probes MP swearing on live TV

Preston and Leyland Citizen: Tory MP Nick Herbert swore during a live broadcast of BBC2's Daily Politics show Tory MP Nick Herbert swore during a live broadcast of BBC2's Daily Politics show

Communications watchdog Ofcom has launched an investigation into whether the BBC breached broadcasting standards after a Conservative MP swore during a live TV show.

The investigation into a possible breach " of content standards" comes after former police minister Nick Herbert used the term "f***wit" while appearing as one of the guests on BBC2's Daily Politics programme.

He later defended his actions and pointed out that he used the term "disapprovingly" while quoting from a disparaging comment made by a fellow guest, former police officer Peter Kirkham, in reference to Home Secretary Theresa May.

Presenter Jo Coburn interrupted Mr Herbert, telling him "we won't have any more of that" and cautioning him to speak "without repeating any of those expletives".

At the end of the programme - which was broadcast on BBC2 at noon - Ms Coburn offered a full apology for the outburst, saying it was unacceptable and would not be repeated.

Explaining his actions on Twitter following the broadcast, Mr Herbert said: "Shame on the former police officer on the prog who used the word to describe the Home Sec and who I was quoting disapprovingly."

During the programme Mr Herbert was asked whether police would react badly to a speech by Mrs May and he replied: "I'm afraid there have been a minority who've been outspoken and they are very active on Twitter and so on. Peter himself just a day ago described the Home Secretary as a 'f***wit' in his own Twitter line."

After being warned about his language, Mr Herbert said: "Indeed we should not have any more of it, from either police officers or former police officers, this kind of infantile discussion that goes on."

Mr Kirkham later appeared to dispute having used the term, posting a message which said: "Genuinely don't recall doing so 'a couple of days ago'!"

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