Jo Swinson and Nicola Sturgeon will not take place in debate on ITV.
Jo Swinson and Nicola Sturgeon will not be taking part in a televised election debate on Tuesday after the Liberal Democrats and Scottish National Party lost a court appeal.
The decision by the High Court of England and Wales means Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn will be the only leaders taking part in the ITV debate on Tuesday.
The Lib Dems and SNP had argued that the debate would be unfair to them and to the electorate, as well as unlawful. But the judges ruled ITV’s decision was not open to challenge in court, and said the only recourse left for the two parties was to complain to Ofcom, the broadcasting regulator.
According to the judges, the format of the debate was a matter of “editorial judgement” on behalf of ITV and there was “no arguable breach of the Broadcasting Code.”
“The editorial judgement was, in public law terms, a judgement properly and reasonably open to ITV … That the Liberal Democrat Party and the Scottish National Party strongly and sincerely disagree with that editorial judgement gives rise to no valid objection in law,” the judges said in their ruling.
ITV said in a statement: “We welcome the court’s decision and will continue with our comprehensive election coverage as planned.”
The SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford said not having Sturgeon in the debate would “discriminate against Scottish voters and … effectively treat them as second-class citizens.”
“That is, quite simply, a democratic disgrace, and the fact that election law and broadcasting codes allow such gross unfairness is unacceptable,” he said. “The SNP has long supported calls for decisions on TV debates to be made independently of politicians and broadcasters — and today’s decision makes that even more important.”
He added: “What is now clear is that the UK broadcasting system is similarly incapable. Indeed the result of the decision to exclude the SNP is to discriminate against Scottish voters and to effectively treat them as second-class citizens.
“That is, quite simply, a democratic disgrace, and the fact that election law and broadcasting codes allow such gross unfairness is unacceptable.”
Liberal Democrat President Sal Brinton added: “The Liberal Democrat’s position, and that of our leader is unique.
“Jo Swinson is the only leader of a national party fighting to stop Brexit. Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn should not be allowed to side-step debating the issue of Brexit with someone who wants to Remain, and ITV should not give them the opportunity to do so.
PLEASE HELP US KEEP GOING AD-FREE
This is a "Pay as You Feel" website.
Hey there! Thanks for stopping by. If you've enjoyed reading the articles on Labour Heartlands so far, We would be incredibly grateful if you could consider making a small donation. Labour Heathlands is not your typical news outlet. We are not here to simply regurgitate the daily news cycle, that's for the rest of them. Our focus is on delving deeper, uncovering the untold stories and shedding light on the issues that the mainstream media chooses to ignore.
Our unwavering commitment to journalistic integrity means that we are not influenced by any external forces. We are not beholden to PR companies, advertisers or press barons, and we refuse to let anyone dictate what we report on. Our editorial independence is sacrosanct, and our only allegiance is to the truth.
While we do not align ourselves with any particular political party, we stand firmly against corruption, injustice and the erosion of truth and the rule of law. We believe that accurate information is the lifeblood of a democracy and that facts are not up for debate.
Once again, thank you for your support – We truly couldn't do this without you!