BBC to face huge protests over BNP address
Published 26/04/2010 | 05:00
Protesters are to gather outside BBC headquarters today as the controversial British National Party's (BNP's) election broadcast is aired.
The BBC is accused by campaign group Unite Against Fascism (UAF) of giving "unwarranted and uncritical coverage" of the BNP.
The BNP's five-minute party election broadcast is set to be aired on BBC1 at 6.55pm.
UAF's protest at Broadcasting House in central London will be supported by the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU), as well as the Muslim Council of Britain and Jewish Council for Racial Equality.
A BBC spokesman said the corporation was "obliged to treat political parties contesting the election with due impartiality", as set out in its charter.
He added: "Over the course of the election, we will ensure appropriate scrutiny as we would with any party."
UAF joint secretary Sabby Dhalu said: "The BBC has given unwarranted and uncritical coverage of the BNP during this election campaign, particularly on TV news and Radio 4, which has failed to challenge its racist scapegoating of immigrants and Islamophobia.
"The BBC's justification for giving the BNP more coverage is the election of two BNP MEPs last year. Giving the BNP a platform and failing to expose and challenge it gives the BNP a veneer of legitimacy.
"The BNP is a fascist organisation, not a normal political party, and the public does not pay its licence fee to see fascists broadcast their politics of hate."
BECTU general secretary Gerry Morrissey said the BNP's policies were "abhorrent to the vast majority of hard-working people".
"The BNP would like to scare people into believing they have something to fear from multiculturalism, and their policies of hatred and racism should not be given airtime."
Launching its 90-page election manifesto last week, BNP leader Nick Griffin said: "We say Britain is full. It is the most overcrowded country in Europe and it is time to shut the doors.
"I tell the truth. So don't waste your vote -- do the one thing that will really upset politicians: get your own back.
"Get up, get out and vote British National Party -- then they will listen."