Sunday, 2 October 2016

MK challenges exclusion from Party Election Broadcasts

As the leader of Mebyon Kernow, I have formally responded to a consultation from the Broadcasters’ Liaison Group concerning the process for Party Election Broadcasts (PEBs).

Of specific relevance to MK, they will be reviewing the guidelines for a PEB for the 2017 local elections. These presently state that, to qualify for a PEB, a political party would need to “stand candidates in a minimum of one sixth of the seats being contested in the English local government elections …”

This obviously excludes Mebyon Kernow which, somewhat logically, only contests seats in Cornwall.

We have not been told the total number of local government seats being contested in “England” in 2017, but when we responded to a similar consultation, about four years ago, we were then told that one-sixth of the total number of seats being contested would be 394 – though that figure could be different now because of boundary reviews.

However, assuming that this actual figure is about right, how can it be just that in order to get a broadcast, Mebyon Kernow - the Party for Cornwall would need to fight every council seat in Cornwall (122) plus an additional 272 easts to the east of the Tamar.

It is fair to say that the Broadcasters’ Liaison Group has been less than sympathetic in the past and decreed that for MK to be allowed a broadcast in the 2015 General Election, it would need to stand in one sixth of all seats in “England” – ie. all Cornish seats as well as a further 83 outside of Cornwall.

These recommendations, which deny Mebyon Kernow airtime, continue to be absurd and undemocratic.

I will be making further forceful representations, with particular reference to the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.

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