The BBC has announced the roster of parties to which it will offer Party Political Broadcasts in 2016, with UKIP joining the three main parties in England, but no slots being made available for the Green Party.
The Conservatives, Labour, the Liberal Democrats and UKIP will each be offered three broadcasts outside election periods under recently amended criteria from the BBC Trust which take into account representation – ie, whether a party holds a seat in the House of Commons, the European Parliament or any of the devolved institutions – and a broader assessment of electoral support.
The Greens and UKIP both have just a single member of parliament but UKIP is currently drawing around 14% in polls compared to the Greens’ 5%.
Prior to the changes in the Trust’s rules, a party was required to have at least two MPs before being considered for PPBs.
In its consultation document ahead of the changes, the Trust pointed out that certain parties – specifically UKIP – could not qualify for broadcasts despite polling a higher percentage of the overall vote than others.
A spokesperson for the Green Party said it was “disappointed” with the decision and would be petitioning the BBC.
The full list of parties being offered Party Political Broadcasts across the UK is as follows: