BBC in Question Time U-turn after Nigel Farage complains over Reform UK exclusion as he makes key demand

BBC in Question Time U-turn after Nigel Farage complains over Reform UK exclusion as he makes key demand

WATCH HERE: Nigel Farage kicks off Reform UK's 'contract' launch

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 18/06/2024

- 15:14

Updated: 18/06/2024

- 16:28

Nigel Farage will appear in a Question Time leaders' special this month

The BBC has added an extra Question Time instalment featuring representatives from Reform UK and the Green Party, scheduled for June 28.

Fiona Bruce had already been billed to host a leaders' special later this week involving representatives from the Conservative Party, the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats and the SNP.

Reform UK leader Nigel Farage had slammed the omission of Reform UK from the initially billed leaders' special after a poll placed his party ahead of the Tories.

Following his complaints, the BBC has decided to add an extra leaders' special to its election coverage to reflect "the fact that it is clear from across a broad range of opinion polls that the support for Reform UK has been growing".

The Reform UK leader reacted to the announcement on Thursday evening, penning on X: "I am pleased that the BBC acknowledges that support for Reform UK has been growing in this election."

He added a further demand, however: "We must now be included in the head-to-head debate with Sunak and Starmer on June 26th."

\u200bNigel Farage is taking over as Reform UK leader

Nigel Farage took over as Reform UK leader earlier this month


In its announcement of the extra leaders' special, the BBC said it has "been keeping its programme schedules under review during the general election campaign".

"As a public service broadcaster, the BBC recognises that the policies and proposals of the party deserve scrutiny at a time convenient for mass audiences.

"In the interests of fairness we have offered the same scheduling opportunity to the Green Party," it added.

Farage will also participated in a Panorama interview with Nick Robinson which will be broadcast at 7pm on Friday, June 21 on BBC One.

Fiona Bruce

Fiona Bruce will helm the extra Question Time special


Robinson's interviews with the Green Party's Adrian Ramsay and Lib Dem's Ed Davey have also been scheduled for June 24 and June 28 respectively.

Farage had previously complained at Reform UK being excluded from the original leaders' debate last week.

He said at a Reform UK press conference: "I think we can demand of right now that the BBC put us into that debate.

"I would also very much like to do a debate head-to-head with Keir Starmer and the reason’s very simple – we think this should be the immigration election."

After seeing Reform usurp the Conservatives in the poll, Farage claimed he was the "leader of the opposition".

The Reform UK leader has been doing the rounds across UK TV channels in the build-up to the General Election, although Tuesday's interview on ITV's Good Morning Britain left plenty to be desired among some viewers.

ITV presenters Ed Balls and Susanna Reid came under fire from some for their demeanour while grilling Farage, with some even accusing the two of "bullying" tactics.

Similar complaints emerged when Farage sat on the BBC Breakfast sofa opposite Charlie Stayt and Naga Munchetty.

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