Protest at BBC over BNP invite

15 October 2009

Anti-fascist campaigners are holding a national protest against the BBC's decision to invite the BNP onto Question Time.

The demonstration, supported by PCS, will be outside the corporation’s headquarters in west London on Thursday 22 October - the day BNP leader Nick Griffin is due to appear.

It will be followed by a Love Music Hate Racism social event featuring live music and an ‘alternative’ Question Time.

Other protests are being planned at BBC studios around the country.

With Unite Against Fascism and other campaigners, PCS has condemned the decision to offer the BNP a seat at the table on the flagship political debate programme.

Media unions have also criticised the decision that they say is not required under the BBC’s legal obligations to ensure balanced coverage around elections.

They also point out that Question Time does not provide the opportunity for the kind of rigorous scrutiny and challenge of far right politicians that NUJ guidelines insist upon.

Writing on the Guardian’s Comment is Free website, former cabinet minister Peter Hain points out the BBC has obligations as a public service broadcaster and an equality policy that commits it to promoting a tolerant society and equal opportunities.

He says: “Either this is hollow rhetoric, or the BBC's own policy compels the corporation to give more weight to a tolerant majority than to a racist minority.”

  • Picket BBC Television Centre, Wood Lane, London W12 7RJ, from 9am on Thursday 22 October. Main demo from 5pm. Nearest Tube White City or Wood Lane.
  • Love Music Hate Racism social at Ginglik, 1 Shepherds Bush Green, London W12 8PH. Doors open at 7.30pm. Artists include south London singer Mpho and DJ Rugrat. Entry £6/3.

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