Ofcom has received 419 complaints about the show on Monday — which was watched by 1.6M people — and a spokesman said: “We are assessing this programme in full as a priority.” ITV is yet to comment on the matter, but Holmes did clarify his remarks on Tuesday, making clear there is no evidence for the 5G theories.
During the exchange on-air on Monday, This Morning presenter Alice Beer described the 5G conspiracy as “incredibly stupid,” but Holmes took issue with her assessment.
The former Sky News presenter replied: “I totally agree with everything you are saying but what I don’t accept is mainstream media immediately slapping that down as not true when they don’t know it’s not true.
“No-one should attack or damage or do anything like that but it’s very easy to say it is not true because it suits the state narrative. That’s all I would say, as someone with an inquiring mind.”
The 5G conspiracy, which has taken root on the internet and in private messaging groups, has been widely debunked — including by independent fact-checking charity Full Fact, which said: “There is no evidence that 5G WiFi networks are linked to the new coronavirus.”
On Tuesday, Holmes was back on This Morning and he clarified his remarks. Reading out a statement, he said: “There is no connection between the present national health emergency and 5G and to suggest otherwise could be wrong and indeed, it could be possibly dangerous.” He added: “I want to make it clear there is no scientific evidence to substantiate any of those 5G theories.”
Ofcom’s assessment of This Morning follows it launching an urgent investigation into London Live for airing a long interview with coronavirus denier David Icke last week. Ofcom has said it will sanction broadcasters that spread misinformation on coronavirus.