Regulatory body Ofcom has said that a UKIP party broadcast on Turkey isn’t racist — but admitted that some viewers found it offensive.
The four-minute clip, which aired on both ITV and BBC earlier this month, received 40 complaints from viewers, but Ofcom has confirmed a full investigation will not be taking place.
The broadcast urged British people to vote to leave the EU as Turkey could potentially join the 28-nation bloc in the future. The broadcast stated that 15 million Turkish citizens could migrate to Britain.
A spokeswoman for Ofcom told The Guardian: “Having considered several complaints about this UKIP party political broadcast, we won’t be taking the matter forward for investigation. We found this broadcast was capable of causing offence but this was justified by its context as political speech, in which freedom of expression is very important.”
One of the complaints came from Tim Farron’s Liberal Democrats who accused UKIP of inciting racial and religious hatred as well as spreading factual inaccuracies.
In an official statement, published on the Lib Dem website, Farron said:
“This Donald Trump style scaremongering has no place in British politics. Wherever you stand on the European campaign, inciting hatred, by getting down in the gutter in a desperate grab for votes debases politics. The politics of division is something millions of liberally minded people despise and I will keep doing all I can to make a case for inclusion and tolerance. This broadcast was not just incredulous, it’s dangerous.”
In the video, it is said that an EU including Turkey would expand the union’s borders to Syria and that the country would be entitled to a whole third of the EU’s structural aid budget.
The broadcast also cites the country’s poor human rights record and the decline of Christianity as reasons why Britain should reject the chance to remain in the EU with Turkey as a potential future member.
UKIP declined to comment when approached by Business Insider.
The full broadcast can be viewed below.
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