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Broadcasting Programmes: Violence

Volume 459: debated on Monday 30 April 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps the Government plan to take in response to the recent conclusions of Ofcom on violence in television soap operas. (134575)

Parliament has charged the independent regulator, Ofcom, with maintaining broadcasting standards, notably to protect children and to protect the general public from harmful and offensive material. Ofcom sets out the rules and guidance with which broadcasters must comply. Within this framework, it is the broadcasters' job to make judgments about what individual programmes should contain and the time at which they are broadcast. It is a long-standing principle that the Government do not interfere in programming matters. That applies to both scheduling and content. Where there are deliberate, serious or repeated breaches of Ofcom's rules, the regulator may impose statutory sanctions against the broadcaster.