UKIP is reportedly prepared to sue Ofcom if it is not given the same amount of coverage as the Conservative and Labour parties in the run-up to next year's general election.
The party's head of communications Patrick O'Flynn has written to the broadcasting regulator saying UKIP should now be considered a "major party" and that leader Nigel Farage (pictured, Reuters) should be involved in all leaders' debates, according to The Sunday Times.
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He reportedly wrote that it is “unthinkable” his party, which polled 27.5 per cent of UK votes in last month's European Parliament election, should be treated as “just another minor party”.
O’Flynn, formerly of the Daily Express, said there was “an overwhelming case” for Farage to take part in televised leaders’ election debates. And he has said UKIP may sue if it feels it is being frozen out by broadcasters.
It emerged on Friday that the BBC has received around 1,200 complaints from individuals who believe it has been biased in favour of UKIP. According to The Guardian, the corporation had also received 149 complaints of bias against the party.
A campaign set up by Green Party members calling on the BBC to stop the “media blackout” of its party in political coverage has been signed by more than 40,000. It said UKIP had been given an unfair level of coverage in comparison.
The campaign page, set up last weekend, said: “Whilst we understand that UKIP made gains in the Local Elections, it has gone largely unreported that the Green Party currently have a total of 178 Councillors and are now the official opposition in Liverpool, Solihull, Islington, Lewisham, and Norwich (15 councillors to Labour's 21). They gained two seats in Bristol, one with over 47% of the vote and retained a third seat, bringing the total to 6.”