Straw: Ofcom 'must act now' on 'BB' row
Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards said earlier today that it would be writing to Channel 4 in the next few weeks about the matter and would look into whether it had broken the broadcasting code, but by then the show will have finished.
But the former foreign secretary said the regulator had the power to act now and should not be waiting weeks to act.
"First, I do not think that any of us should have a casual approach to racism," he said when Keith Vaz, the MP for Leicester East, raised the issue in the Commons. "We have managed to change the climate of opinion in this country by being tough on, and unequivocal about, racism both in public and in private. It is important that we maintain that approach."
"On the specific point that my right honourable Friend raises, I understand that Ofcom has the power to open investigations while the programme is being broadcast, instead of having to wait until it has finished, which would be risible. I understand his concern that there should be a debate and I will do what I can to assist him."
MP Keith Vaz added on Sky News that Richards statement was "something he would live to regret."