Ofcom has slammed Channel 4 News after it incorrectly named a Leytonstone extremist as the perpetrator of the Westminster terror attack.

The broadcasting watchdog has ruled the programme was in “serious breach” of rules when it reported Abu Izzadeen was responsible for the attack, hours after the incident on March 22.

In a report published today (Monday, September 11), Ofcom said Channel 4 News had dedicated the first half of its show, aired at 7pm that evening, to coverage of Izzadeen.

However, the watchdog said it has received six complaints about the broadcast after it arose the extremist was in prison at the time of the incident.

Ofcom spokesman said: “We found Channel 4 News committed a serious breach of broadcasting rules, after it wrongly identified the Westminster terror attacker.

“Channel 4 News incorrectly referred to the same person throughout its report, and subsequent steps to mitigate the error were insufficient.

“This is the fourth time in three years we have found Channel 4 in breach of its requirement to report news with due accuracy.

“We are particularly concerned that another serious breach has happened, given Channel 4’s previous assurances to Ofcom that improvements to its compliance processes were being made.”

The report said Channel 4 News, produced by ITN, acknowledged 35 minutes into the programme there were doubts over whether Izzadeen had been the attacker.

Some 19 minutes later, at the end of the broadcast, presenter Jon Snow said the extremist’s brother, Yousef Brooks, had told the show Izzadeen was currently serving a prison sentence.

Izzadeen, formerly of Brierley Road, Leytonstone, was sentenced to two years behind bars in 2016 for breaking counter-terrorism restrictions by travelling abroad to Turkey.

The 42-year-old, born Trevor Brooks to Jamaican parents in Hackney, had previously been jailed for four-and-a-half years in 2008 after fundraising for terrorists and inciting terrorism overseas.

Five people were killed in the Westminster terror attack after Khalid Masood drove a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge before crashing into a fence at the Houses of Parliament.

He then fatally stabbed unarmed Met Police officer PC Keith Palmer before being shot dead by an armed officer at the scene.

A Channel 4 spokesperson said: “We acknowledge Ofcom’s ruling. Channel 4 and ITN takes this matter very seriously and we are working with Channel 4 News to review and improve their existing editorial and oversight procedures.

“This was a fast-moving story, broadcast in the immediate aftermath of a terror attack, Channel 4 News moved swiftly to correct and clarify the facts as conflicting information came to light.

“We note that Ofcom acknowledges Channel 4 News made appropriate corrections while on air; removed the programme from other platforms and carried a full correction and apology the following day.”

Ofcom has also ordered Channel 4 News to air a summary of its ruling into the broadcast.