England

General Election: call for regional party TV broadcasts

Yorkshire flag
Image caption Yorkshire First was formed to campaign for a Yorkshire Assembly.

Broadcasting rules around party election broadcasts need to reflect regional English interests, according to localised political parties.

Richard Carter from Yorkshire First said election broadcasts were an example of an out of date system.

The leader of Cornish party Mebyon Kernow called the rule which only grants TV airtime to parties standing in one in six constituencies "absurd".

A BBC spokesperson said the BBC Trust was reviewing the broadcasts.

A ComRes poll for the BBC in November found about 80% of people in England supported having more powers devolved to local areas.

Image caption The first television Party Election Broadcast was during the 1951 general election.

Mr Carter said his party was considering contesting seats outside of Yorkshire to "demonstrate the absurd current situation".

He said: "Why should Yorkshire First have to stand in London, Lancashire and Cornwall to qualify? It is bizarre."

Mebyon Kernow, a party with four councillors in Cornwall and campaigning for a Cornish Assembly, has also called for a change to the rules.

Party leader Dick Cole said a national quota was "absurd", especially when greater devolution was being promised for English regions.

He said: "The party has requested the Broadcasters' Liaison Group agree that genuine 'regional' parties which stand candidates in a majority of the seats in a particular area be allowed an election broadcast."

The BBC spokesperson said: "The BBC Trust is currently holding a public consultation on the criteria for party election broadcasts at the general election.

"The BBC Executive will allocate broadcasts, according to the criteria set by the Trust, in February 2015."

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