Leaders' Debates: Letter from the Green Party to the broadcasters (Full text)

15 October 2014

WE are extremely disappointed at the joint proposal that broadcasters unveiled on Monday of this week. We believe that we have a strong case to be included in the line-up and would ask you to reconsider your proposals. 

Since the announcement, we have been inundated with calls to the office from the public expressing disbelief at your decision. Online petitions have been started and they are attracting tens of thousands of signatures.[1] Political commentators have declared the decision to be unfair and even the Prime Minister has called for the Greens to be included in the debates on the grounds of fairness. We would like to be informed on how the decision was made and what criteria you took into account when reaching your conclusions. 

The Green Party received 150,000 more votes than the Liberal Democrats in the 2014 European Elections and won three times as many seats as them.[2] In General Election opinion polls the Greens are neck-and-neck with the junior Coalition partners.[3] 

Despite our comparative lack of airtime our policies are consistently popular with the public. We have a 5% lead over second-placed Labour when people Vote for Policies[4]; 64% of the public back our plan to turn the minimum wage into a living wage[5] and 66% support building more social housing.[6

There is clear public support for including the Green Party in the Leaders’ Debates – from people who would never vote Green.[7] Regardless of their politics most people have a strong sense of what is right and fair. Excluding the Green Party is both wrong and unjust. 

We request an urgent meeting with you to make our case for inclusion. We would expect a response detailing the criteria within the next two to three days with a meeting in the next two weeks. 

Should we be unable to come to a satisfactory conclusion, we regret we will have no alternative but to seek formal legal advice with a view to taking action. 

Yours sincerely, 

Penny Kemp

Head of Media

The Green Party of England and Wales

[1] Change.org: Include the Green Party in the TV Leaders' Debates ahead of the 2015 General Election: http://www.change.org/p/bbc-itv-channel-4-sky-include-the-green-party-in-the-tv-leaders-debates-ahead-of-the-2015-general-election

[2] BBC, Vote 2014: UK European election results: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/events/vote2014/eu-uk-results

[3] The Independent, 28 July 2014: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/poll-labour-set-to-win-the-election--but-people-still-dont-like-ed-miliband-9634140.html; The Ashcroft National Poll, 24 June 2014: http://lordashcroftpolls.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/ANP-140623-Full-tables.pdf; UK polling report, 16 June 2014: http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/archives/8897

[4] Vote for Policies website: http://voteforpolicies.org.uk/

[5] YouGov, 23 October 2013: http://yougov.co.uk/news/2013/10/23/londoners-living-wage-legally-required/

[6] YouGov, 10 April 2014: http://yougov.co.uk/news/2014/04/10/londoners-blame-rich-foreigners-housing-boom/

[7] Change.org: Include the Green Party in the TV Leaders' Debates ahead of the 2015 General Election: http://www.change.org/p/bbc-itv-channel-4-sky-include-the-green-party-in-the-tv-leaders-debates-ahead-of-the-2015-general-election






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