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Wales Green Party protests at exclusion from BBC election debate

19 Jun 2024 3 minute read
Anthony Slaughter. Picture by the Green Party.

Martin Shipton

The Wales Green Party has called on BBC Wales to reverse a decision not to include its leader Anthony Slaughter in a TV election debate on Friday June 21..

In an open letter addressed to political editor Gareth Lewis, Mr Slaughter stated: “How can it be justifiable to leave out the Wales Green Party, who came fourth in the regional vote in the last Senedd elections and who are standing in all 32 constituencies in Wales? This decision is awful and unsustainable.

“To allow two parties that had fewer votes than the Greens [the Liberal Democrats and Reform UK] onto the programme shows an utter lack of balance. The first line of the BBC’s editorial guidelines on impartiality notes that, ‘The BBC is committed to achieving due impartiality in all its output.’ The document adds that this is fundamental to the BBC’s reputation and values. It is clear that this editorial decision risks trashing your hard-earned reputation and trampling upon your values.

“It is sad to have to note that BBC Wales has form in this area. In the run-up to the last Senmedd elections in 2021, BBC Wales gave a platform in its principal leaders’ debate programme (April 29P) to the ‘Abolish the Welsh Assembly’ party, but not the Wales Green Party. This decision was made to look ridiculous by the election results, in which the Greens came fourth in the regional vote and ‘Abolish’ came sixth.

“I have made it clear that I am ready and willing to appear on this programme, representing the Wales Green Party. It is not too late for you to change your unsustainable position on this matter and allow the Greens their democratic right to have representation at such an important occasion.”

Unjustifiable

Later Mr Slaughter posted a message to X, formerly Twitter, which said: “Overwhelmed by the number of people contacting us who object strongly to this unjustifiable decision by @BBCWales

“How can it be fair or democratic to exclude @WalesGreenParty while including a party with no elected representation in Wales. Voters in Wales deserve better.”

Former Cynon Valley Labour MP Beth Winter added her support to Mr Slaugher’s call for representation in the debate, saying: “If the @BBCWales wishes to uphold its stated commitment to fairness and impartiality it must surely respond positively to @as_penarth letter.”

But Welsh Labour activist Dave Collins posted a message that said:” It’s because they’re [Reform UK] consistently polling 4/5 times what you are. Auntie don’t make their balance criteria up on the fly.”

Election guidelines

A spokesperson for BBC Wales said: “Parties have been invited to participate in the BBC Wales Election Debate in line with the BBC’s election guidelines as well as Ofcom’s rules.

“This participation takes account of a number of considerations, including past electoral performance in equivalent elections over at least two electoral cycles, as well as giving due weight to robust patterns in relevant opinion polls. It also takes account of the number of constituencies in which each party is fielding candidates.

“Throughout the campaign audiences can expect to hear from political parties in Wales including The Green Party who were featured as part of Nick Servini Interviews last week on BBC One Wales. They have also been invited to respond to the election debate on BBC Radio Wales on Friday evening.”

 


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Cymru Gwyrdd
Cymru Gwyrdd
25 days ago

When we get a Wales Green Party, they need equal treatment as in Scotlsnd fot sure.

The Welsh Branch of the “ nstional
party “ cannot expect specisl treatment when they get “ national “ inclusion from their “ nstional “ body in London.

Matt Evans
Matt Evans
25 days ago
Reply to  Cymru Gwyrdd

Their issue this time around is that they aren’t getting the same special treatment as Reform and Lib Dem’s who also get inclusion from their national bodies in London.

Welsh Patriot
Welsh Patriot
25 days ago

The Greens and their friends the Oranges, spray painting Stonehenge!

Gareth
Gareth
25 days ago
Reply to  Welsh Patriot

Powder paint old boy, will come off with a bit of water.

Blodwen Jones
Blodwen Jones
25 days ago

Disgraceful decision by the BBC here, which is an affront to the democratic process and in contravention to their charter. Whatever happened to impartiality? Was this decision made in Cardiff or handed down from London. Also, the Labour activist Dave Collins quoted here is really bad at maths. The Greens will beat the Faragists in a number of Welsh seats. But it also shows Labour’s true colours, doesn’t it?

Welsh Patriot
Welsh Patriot
24 days ago
Reply to  Blodwen Jones

Really?
Why not let any every party leader throughout the UK on the show, we could have 127 people on stage, make great TV

Steve Woods
Steve Woods
24 days ago

Why does the BBC continue to promote Farage and his fan club?

Without their meddling, he’d be just another bar room bore ranting at 2 blokes and a dog on a lead.

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