Green Party submit formal complaint over BBC Leaders’ Debate Exclusion

The Green Party has today, Monday 20 February, formally complained to the BBC over its exclusion from the Leaders’ Debate taking place on Tuesday 28 February 2017 ahead of the Northern Ireland Assembly election on 2 March.

The BBC has also scrapped its usual discussion programme following the debate on which the Green Party has previously been invited to participate.

Green Party leader Steven Agnew said:

“There is a clear bias against non-traditional parties on the part of the BBC and I am disappointed that a publicly funded organisation does not see fit to accurately represent Northern Ireland’s political landscape in its programming, particularly as part of its election coverage.

“We are the only party standing in every constituency who will not have the chance to have our policies scrutinised in this debate.

“Since the last election debate, the Green Party has seen its vote share rise and its representation in the Northern Ireland Assembly increase.

“It is therefore disappointing that a publicly funded organisation such as the BBC continues with its narrow interpretation of how to cover politics in Northern Ireland.

“It is bizarre that we will have less presence on television this election than before, despite every metric suggesting that the Green Party has increased its support, whilst support for the traditional parties continues to wane.

“Quite frankly it is insulting to us and our supporters that the only presence we were offered at an important debate in advance of the election on 2 March was four party supporters being able to sit in the audience, with no guarantee that they would even be chosen to ask questions.”


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