BBC apologises to Green Party Candidate, Susie O'Connor

16 June 2019

When Wimbledon MP, Stephen Hammond, promoted the Conservative candidate in the Cannon Hill by-election on BBC's Sunday Politics, he created a problem for the broadcaster. Under the BBC's strict impartiality rules, if one candidate in an election is featured, the broadcaster is required to mention all the other candidates. As the MP had mentioned the Tory candidate unexpectedly, the programme's production team did not have the list of candidates to hand and the presenter was reduced to saying that the other candidates names could be found online.

Susie complained to the BBC that it had not met its duty of impartiality and received an apology. They promised to show the names of all the candidates in the by-election on this Sunday's programme and to name-check Susie and the other three candidates by way of remedy. Susie said "I am pleased that the BBC has acknowledged its lapse and agreed to take steps to redress the balance. I was surprised such an experienced politician as Stephen Hammond thought it was OK to plug his party's candidate in this way, contrary to the well-known rules on pre-election impartiality.


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