Monday, 8 December 2014

Help MK secure Party Election Broadcast for the 2015 General Election

The BBC Trust is presently consulting on proposals about which political parties will be allowed Party Election Broadcasts (PEBs) during the upcoming General Election. The consultation – which closes on 12th January 2015 – can be found at

Sadly, the basis of the consultation is “draft criteria” from the Broadcasters’ Liaison Group, which states that, as in previous General Elections, a “political party would qualify for one PEB” if it stands in a “minimum of one sixth of the seats up for election” in one of the “home nations” of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

The recommendation, which would deny Mebyon Kernow airtime, is both absurd and undemocratic.

As I have said so many times – how can it be fair that MK, a Cornish political party, would need to stand in all six seats within the historic nation of Cornwall, as well as a further 83 seats outside of Cornwall, in order to be allowed a broadcast?

By contrast, the rulings mean that political parties in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland would only have to stand in three, seven and ten seats respectively. This has meant that, over recent elections, a host of political parties – including the Christian Party (Wales), Scottish Green Party, Scottish Socialist Party and the Scottish Trade Union and Socialist Coalition – have been allocated airtime.

MK is presently preparing a detailed response to a BBC consultation on the issue of PEBs and we will continue to argue that genuine “regional” or “national” parties which stand candidates in a majority (or all) of the seats in a particular area be allowed an election broadcast.

Please take the time to write to the BBC Trust pointing out the unjust nature of their proposals.

I understand that Ofcom, which regulates other broadcasters, will be holding a similar consultation in the near future.

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