Green Party leader welcomes report of BBC public consultation on election debate guidelines

1 November 2014

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett has welcomed reports emerging tonight that the BBC Trust plans to hold a public consultation on the 2015 general election leader debates.

The Press Association has reported: “the BBC Trust will be launching a public consultation on the ‘relevant guidelines’ next week”.

Bennett said: “Whilst this is only an early report, it is encouraging that the BBC Trust, the ‘guardian of public interest’ in the organisation, has recognised the level of public disquiet about the initial plans announced by the BBC and other broadcasters.

“I hope that this consultation will be broad-ranging, well-publicised, and will have a significant impact on the Corporation’s plans.”

The current proposals allow for three debates with one with Tory, Labour, Lib Dem and Ukip, then the first three parties, then the first two parties. The Green Party is excluded from them.

More than 198,000 people have signed a petition demanding the Green Party be allowed to participate (1).

Bennett added: “With the current plans the BBC is acting as a dangerous brake on democratic change, failing to grasp that the future of politics doesn't look like the past. This attitude is contributing to the build up of frustration and disillusionment with politics in the UK.

“I’m delighted that the BBC Trust has recognised there is a problem. The BBC should be at the forefront of quality, accessible, varied political debate in the UK, and I hope that after the consultation it will be moving in that direction.”

(1)    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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