Kingston Greens condemn ‘media blackout’ as party threatens legal challenge over TV debate exclusion

The Green Party have been shunned by television broadcasters from the upcoming party leader debates in the run-up to the 2015 General Election.

Major British broadcasters, the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky News, have agreed to plan three television debates with David Cameron, Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage expected to feature.

Representatives from the Green Party, the Scottish National Party, and Plaid Cymru have been consequently neglected.

Kingston and Surbiton Green Party candidate, Clare Keogh, told SW Londoner: “The Greens have suffered with a media blackout for some time.

“While UKIP have received consistent and even disproportionate coverage, the Greens have been left in the dark – despite a huge increase in both membership and support.

“It is difficult to believe that this is not a deliberate bias, when Greens are the only major party offering a genuine alternative and different narrative to the neoliberal agenda pushed by the Tories, Labour, Liberal Democrats and UKIP alike, within the media.”

“It is difficult to believe that this is not a deliberate bias, when Greens are the only major party offering a genuine alternative”

Ms Keogh called the inclusion of UKIP’s Nigel Farage but not Green Leader Natalie Bennett ‘a real injustice’, not only to the Green Party, but also to people who ‘want to hear about a different approach to politics and the opportunity for real change’.

She also referred to the ‘great success’ of the Greens in the recent European elections, citing their defeat of the Liberal Democrats.

“The Green Party, with membership across the UK now approaching 30,000, has had an MP for years, while UKIP have for mere days,” she said.

“We should ask whether these debates are for the future Prime Minister, or for UK-wide parties. If the former, then why have Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage been invited?

“If the latter, then the Green Party, with candidates standing in at least 75% of constituencies, should have their rightful place.”

Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion and former Green Party leader, confirmed on her Twitter account that the party will take legal advice over their exclusion from TV debates.

Natalie Bennett, Green Party Leader, has also been open in her condemnation of her party’s exclusion from the TV debates.

She said: “The broadcasters are demonstrating just how out of touch they are with the public mood, and how ridiculously they cling to the idea that the future of politics looks like the past.”

Deputy Leader for the Green Party, Amelia Womack, said that despite prominent political advances, and an 100% increase in the amount of youth membership since March, her party are still being overshadowed in the media.

Green Party membership has soared to numbers exceeding 27,000 in England, Scotland and Wales.

They are similarly polling at 7% ahead of the General Election, putting them neck and neck with the Liberal Democrats.

In the European Elections in May, the Greens managed to out-perform the Lib Dems. They secured 160,000 more votes and two more MEPs.

David Cameron has implied that given the inclusion of UKIP in the debates it would appear unfair not to extend the same privilege to the Green Party given that both the Greens and UKIP each have one elected MP.

Members and non-members have been encouraged via online petitions and direct appeals to the broadcasters to modify their stance on Green exclusion from the TV debates but whether their appeals will be successful remains to be seen.

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