Debate complaints over Clegg ‘heckling’

By Sam Dale

More than 100 complaints about Nick Clegg being “heckled” by the Sky News moderator are believed to have been made to Ofcom.

Adam Boulton asked Nick Clegg a question about newspaper allegations which is alleged to have broken debate rules.

The rules of the debate were strictly agreed between the main parties after painstaking negotiations.

Rule 63 states: “It is not the moderator’s role to criticise or comment on the leaders’ answers”.

Many Twitter and Facebook groups have been set up in anger at Mr Boulton after quizzing the leader about Daily Telegraph accusations.

The campaigners believe that Mr Boulton breached this rule with Clegg.

Last night’s debate attracted four million viewers, far less than the 9.4 million who watched the first debate on ITV1 last week.

Ofcom received about 40 complaints, mostly from Scottish and Welsh nationalists complaining that their parties were not involved, which the body is investigating.

Ofcom refused to reveal the exact amount of complaints and does not have jurisdiction over the leaders’ debate rules.

Meanwhile, the BBC will not show next week’s debate on BBC1 or BBC2 because they would have to give more airtime to the BNP under impartiality rules, the Guardian reports.