The BBC has announced that it is going to give another platform to Nazi British National Party (BNP) leader Nick Griffin.
Griffin will take part in a minority party debate alongside UKIP and the Green Party immediately after the BBC-hosted debate between Tory, Labour and Lib Dem leaders.
Griffin's appearance on the BBC's Question Time programme last October saw viewer numbers treble to 7.9 million. The BNP boasted 3,000 people contacted it for information the next day.
But Griffin didn’t go unopposed: thousands of protesters stormed the BBC and occupied the street outside its Television Centre for hours.
In the run up to the election Griffin will be invited to give interviews on BBC1’s News at Ten, BBC2’s Newsnight and BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
ITV has said it will allow the BNP leader airtime and Sky looks certain to follow.
New Statesman political editor Mehdi Hasan, who spoke recently at the launch of the new media workers’ campaign Expose the BNP, told Socialist Worker, “I welcomed the original decision to hold televised debates involving the leaders of the three main parties—but I'm disgusted to see the BNP now exploiting those debates to garner extra publicity and television coverage for its own odious leader.”
The BBC says it is allowing the BNP a platform to ensure that “due impartiality is achieved in line with its election guidelines”.
But Weyman Bennett, from Unite Against Fascism, said “There is no legal requirement on the BBC or any other programme to give coverage to the BNP.
“This is a party that wants to eliminate a section of the population—we cannot treat it as if it is normal or legitimate.
“Even if there was a legal obligation on the BBC, fascists should not be allowed to spread their filth on programmes paid for by taxpayers.
“The racism, fascism, homophobia and sexism of the BNP have no place in our society—recent police reports show that where the BNP are elected and given a platform, racist attacks increase.
“We are calling on people complain to the BBC asking them to reverse their decision.”
To complain phone 03700 100 222 or go to www.bit.ly/bbccomplaints