Page last updated at 18:22 GMT, Tuesday, 29 April 2008 19:22 UK

BBC in Christian 'censorship' row

Alan Craig
Alan Craig is the Christian Choice's candidate for mayor of London

The BBC and ITV face a legal challenge after asking a Christian party to make changes to its political broadcast.

Christian Choice says both broadcasters have effectively "censored" its film which criticised a Muslim group over its plans for a 12,000-capacity mosque.

Its legal team are seeking a judicial review of the decision and have filed papers at the High Court.

ITV and the BBC say they have to ensure content is legally safe and meets broadcasting requirements.

Alan Craig, the Christian Choice's London mayoral hopeful, says elections are about "open discourse and a free exchange of views".

Two national broadcasters have attempted to close down the democratic debate, through misplaced concern
Alan Craig
The Christian Choice

The Christian Choice is an electoral alliance between two political parties - the Christian Peoples Alliance and the Christian Party.

Mr Craig opposes plans to build a large mosque in east London and the group behind it, Tablighi Jamaat.

He says the BBC and ITV are guilty of "political censorship" in asking for changes to the party election broadcast (PEB) - the full version of which is running on YouTube - in the way he describes the group.

He also argues the action breaches his rights under the European Convention on Human Rights - which guarantees the right to freedom of expression.

"Nationally and locally, leading Muslims share my objections to the mega-mosque, yet two national broadcasters have attempted to close down the democratic debate, through misplaced concern," he said.

An ITV spokesman said the editorial content of PEBs was a matter for political parties.

"But each broadcaster is obliged to ensure they meet legal and broadcasting regulatory requirements," he said.

"That is the only context in which ITV will occasionally ask a political party to remove or change an aspect of a broadcast."

A BBC spokeswoman said a number of issues had been raised with the party over the broadcast, including technical problems and a minor legal concern.

"We offered advice as we often do to help parties achieve appropriate broadcast standards. They subsequently submitted an amended version which we were happy to transmit, " she said.

"Each broadcaster has an obligation to ensure content is legally safe and meets broadcasting requirements."



Boris Johnson The Boris Story
A look at the colourful life and times of London's new mayor, Boris Johnson.
LATEST NEWS
ANALYSIS
Gordon Brown Brown's fightback
The PM admits mistakes but says Labour can recover
IN VIDEO
HAVE YOUR SAY

THE ELECTION RESULTS
COUNCIL RESULTS
  Councillors Councils
Party +/- Total +/- Total
CON 257 3155 12 65
LAB -334 2365 -9 18
LD 33 1804 1 12
PC 31 205 -1 0
OTH 10 898 0 0
NOC - - -3 64
159 of 159 councils declared.

Find your results

Results in more detail

London Mayoral results
Overall results
Name Party Votes
Johnson CON 1,168,738
Livingstone LAB 1,028,966
Paddick LD 878,097
Berry GRN 409,101

Find your results

Results in more detail

London Assembly Results
Overall results
Party Constit' Top-up Total seats
CON 8 3 11
LAB 6 2 8
LD 0 3 3
GRN 0 2 2
BNP 0 1 1

Find your results

Results in more detail


WEBSITES
 

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2016 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific