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Television: Telephone Services

Volume 477: debated on Thursday 12 June 2008

To ask the Solicitor-General pursuant to the answer of 21 May 2008, Official Report, column 297W, on television: telephone services, which four allegations of television broadcaster misconduct have been considered by the Serious Fraud Office. (208254)

The Serious Fraud Office has considered an allegation against GMTV Ltd. and Opera Telecom Ltd. arising out of competitions run as part of the GMTV Breakfast programme and an allegation against Big Game Television. A decision was taken by the former Director of the SFO, Robert Wardle, not to commence formal investigations into these allegations.

An allegation against ITV plc. in relation to a number of programmes and an allegation concerning the BBC are still under consideration.

To ask the Solicitor-General pursuant to the answer of 21 May 2008, Official Report, column 297W, on television: telephone services, what meetings the Serious Fraud Office has had with representatives of (a) the BBC, (b) ITV, (c) GMTV and (d) other television broadcasters on alleged misconduct in the use of premium rate telephone services in viewer competitions and voting in the last 12 months. (208255)

The Serious Fraud Office met with ITV internal legal counsel and solicitors instructed by the company on one occasion.