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Kay Burley faces Ofcom inquiry after ‘empty-chairing’ Tory party chairman James Cleverly

Chair is he? Kay Burley addresses James Cleverly’s ‘vacant seat’ on Sky News show

KAY BURLEY could face an Ofcom investigation after ‘empty-chairing’ Conservative Party chairman James Cleverly on her Sky News programme.

The presenter addressed a vacant seat when the politician failed to show for what she said was a planned appearance.

Following her actions the media watchdog received 23 official complaints.

Mr Cleverly insisted he was not ‘booked in’ for yesterday’s show.

Footage: Mr Cleverly defends doctored video to Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid PICTURE: ITV

In response, Mr Burley tweeted: ‘No, but having “inadvertently” left us off your list, Mr Chairman, you did subsequently agree to appear.’

The complaints are understood to relate to Ms Burley’s claims and the empty-chair gesture. A spokeswoman for Ofcom said: ‘We are assessing these against our broadcasting rules before deciding whether or not to investigate.’

In the programme, Ms Burley said she was ‘fuming’ as she sat next to the seat the MP was ‘supposed’ to have filled.

She added: ‘Where is he? He’s probably 15ft away from where I’m standing just at the moment.

‘I’ve been in to see him during the break, he said he wasn’t due to come and talk to us today although they had said that they would talk to us.’

Ms Burley then listed topics she had hoped to discuss with Mr Cleverly, including Jacob Rees-Mogg’s remarks about the Grenfell Tower victims lacking ‘common sense’ and Boris Johnson’s comparison of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to Joseph Stalin.

Mr Cleverly responded to Ms Burley’s claims during a TalkRadio interview with Julia Hartley-Brewer.

He said: ‘We hadn’t booked in to go on her show, and I was sitting in this studio preparing to talk to you, as I’m now doing, and she said, “I want you to come on my show now”.’ He added that he ‘cannot physically be in two places at the same time’.

Earlier, Mr Cleverly defended the doctoring of TV footage which made it appear Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer could not answer a question.

Speaking to Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, he said: ‘I’ll tell you why we clipped that video. It’s because, in the whole of that exchange, Keir Starmer was unable to credibly explain Labour’s Brexit position.’