The regulator said the sculpture was not supposed to “personally” represent the PM and that little editorial focus was given to the object throughout the debate.
The statement added: “The Committee therefore considered that this programme, including the use of the ice sculpture, did not raise issues warranting further investigation under our due impartiality and elections rules.”
The Tories had lodged an official complaint over the network’s decision to empty-chair the PM during the debate on Thursday night.
The hour-long Emergency On Planet Earth programme was meant to be a chance for each of the party’s leaders to set out their plans to tackle climate change but Johnson and the Brexit Party’s Nigel Farage declined to appear.
In a tweet posted before the show, Channel 4 News revealed two ice sculptures would take their place.
These two ice sculptures - which represent the emergency on planet earth - will take the place of Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage tonight after they declined our invitation to attend a party leaders' #ClimateDebate— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) November 28, 2019
Tune in at 7pm on 4 and here on Twitter: https://t.co/GXl7XiFbgA pic.twitter.com/niPE5MLdGV
In the letter to Ofcom, Tory comms chief Lee Cain lodged an official complaint, stating the Conservative’s offer of allowing Michael Gove to take the PM’s place had been turned down.
The subsequent decision to empty-chair Johnson would “deprive the Conservative Party of any representation and attendance” in the debate, Cain wrote.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.