Sunday, 6 September 2009

BNP gets a slot on BBC's Question Time

THE BBC has provoked controversy by giving the British National party a platform for the first time on Question Time, its top current affairs programme.

Nick Griffin, the BNP leader who was elected to the European parliament in June, is expected to be on the show in October. The corporation has decided that the far-right party deserves more airtime because it has demonstrated “electoral support at a national level”.

The move has caused consternation among politicians, with some Labour MPs and at least one cabinet minister pledging to boycott Question Time. They fear the BNP will use the publicity to promote a racist agenda.

The change in policy has also triggered dissent within the BBC. One senior correspondent, who did not want to be named, said: “It’s barmy ... Public servants can be sacked for membership of the BNP and yet the BBC wants to give them airtime with the main political parties.”

The BBC changed its position after the party won two seats at the European elections. Its share of the national vote at that poll was 6.2%. “They got across a threshold that has given them national representation and that fact will be reflected in the level of coverage they will be given,” said Ric Bailey, the BBC’s chief adviser on politics. “This is not a policy about the BNP. It’s a policy about impartiality.”

The decision was approved by Mark Byford, the deputy director-general. David Dimbleby, the show’s host, backed the change. Read more
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1 comment:

John Thomas said...

Your report refers more than once to a "change of policy"; but surely it was always BBC policy to reflect the choices of the people/electorate, rather than just the ideas and policies of the current people in power (well, it should have been)? The people who gave the BNP electoral success are the government/Labour Party who long ago totally abandoned the true British working class, who turned to someone who they thought might listen to them (ultra-right parties are not voted in in well-to-do safe Tory seats - Labour people must realise this). I don't support the BNP for a moment - but I do sympathise with (abandoned) the real British working people.