TalkTV has been forced to make a public apology to mental health charity Mind after claiming live on air that it funded the legal fees of asylum seekers.
On June 10, presenter Mike Graham said on his show, ‘The Independent Republic of Mike Graham’ that the charity claimed to fund mental health support while actually paying migrants’ legal fees.
Mind complained that the claims were “plain wrong” and that the charity had never been approached for comment by the channel.
TalkTV, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, made an on-air apology on Friday, admitting it had erred in questioning “why various organisations, including Mind, were providing funding to a charity called Migrants Organise.”
It said: “Mind has pointed out to us that the funds it gave to Migrants Organise were given for specific work to support mental health and not for legal fees of illegal immigrants. It says it’s transparent about the work it does and details of the projects it funds are on its website.”
Mind reported receiving negative messages about their work when the item was originally broadcast and that it had only found about the erroneous claims when informed by supporters of its work.
“What TalkTV got wrong wasn’t that we work with refugees, but how we do it. Our work is around supporting mental health. We shout about this from the rooftops,” the charity said.
TalkTV added in its apology, “We didn’t offer Mind an opportunity to respond at the time and are happy to do so now. We are sorry for any confusion caused by the discussion on the show.”
The new right-leaning anti-‘woke’ channel, with its flagship show presented by Piers Morgan and broadcast in Australia and the US as well as the UK, has struggled to find a domestic audience since its debut, with Rupert Murdoch reported to be taking a keen interest in possible changes or even mooting a merger with year-old similarly talk-based channel GB News.