The BBC has been criticised for cancelling last night’s episode of Have I Got News For You because it featured Change UK MP Heidi Allen.
The broadcaster said it was “inappropriate” to air a show featuring the leader of a political party ahead of the European Parliament Elections – even though Brexit party leader Nigel Farage was given airtime on Question Time the night before.
Have I Got News For You tweeted: “Sorry everyone. The BBC have pulled tonight’s edition of #HIGNFY – no, we didn’t book Danny Baker. We booked Heidi Allen, a member of a party no-one knows the name of (not even the people in it), because the Euro elections, which nobody wants, may or may not be happening. Sorry.”
Allen posted shortly after: “Maybe I’m just not as funny as Nigel Farage eh #hignfy @haveigotnews !? He’s so funny, he seems to be on the BBC all the time! An explanation would be appreciated, not least to acknowledge the hard work of the entire crew who worked diligently to put the show together.”
Several people reacted with dismay following the announcement.
Author Emma Kennedy said:
And Andy Wheatley commented:
A statement from the BBC read: “The BBC has specific editorial guidelines that apply during election periods.
“Because of this it would be inappropriate to feature political party leaders on entertainment programmes during this short election period, which does not allow for equal representation to be achieved.”
The broadcaster said it would look to air the episode at a later date.