With just two of the 18 candidates chosen to debate this evening, Brian Rose, who stands as an independent, claimed the BBC gave an unfair advantage to the two major parties. Mr Rose claimed the BBC must explain why the public is paying the licence fee when only two party candidates will took part in the debate. Speaking to Express.co.uk before the debate kicked off, Mr Rose, 49, called on fellow candidates to demand the BBC explain what he called a “lazy approach” to politics.
Mr Rose rose: “The BBC has a duty to give ‘due weight’ to candidates.
“How on earth does putting Sadiq Khan up against the weakest opponent in the race do this?
“This sort of lazy approach to politics from our national broadcaster is helping to suffocate democracy.
“Over and above the rank unfairness of this decision, exposure on the BBC is worth a huge amount in financial terms, and inevitably gives these two candidates a substantial advantage over everyone else.
“I urge fellow candidates to join me in demanding that the BBC explains why it is taking this stance when, as a national, licence fee-funded broadcaster, it has a duty to serve all candidates and their supporters.
“Why should my supporters or, indeed, Greens or Lib Dem supporters be subsidising the BBC when it quite clearly doesn’t give a damn about their views, preferring instead to act as an establishment lickspittle?”
Ahead of this year’s local and mayoral elections, the BBC has pledged to give all candidates proportionate coverage.
As it states under its due impartiality clause, it reads: “To achieve due impartiality, each bulletin, programme or programme strand, as well as online and interactive services, for each election covered, must ensure that the parties and, where relevant, independent candidates are covered proportionately over an appropriate period.”
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In the lead up to the election, Mr Khan has promised to restore London following the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Some critics, however, have issued their concern over the future of the capital’s economy, crime levels and the future of the Transport for London (TfL).
Indeed, Home Secretary Priti Patel warned Mr Khan must tackle crime levels in the capital amid fears of police station closures from fellow Tory MP Felicity Buchan.
As Mayor of London, Mr Khan dictates 30 percent of the Metropolitan Police’s budgets and officially acts as the police and crime commissioner for London.
This means he sets out a plan for how London is policed and appoints a Met Police Commissioner for the day-to-day running of the police.
Ms Patel said: “Police and crime commissioners are elected to be accountable to the communities that they serve.
“With that, they also need to be a strong voice when it comes to fighting crime and dealing with it.