A London mayoral candidate is taking the BBC and ITV to the High Court for “censoring” his party Election Broadcasts in the run up to the May 1 elections. The Christian Choice candidate, Alan Craig, has instructed the Christian Legal Centre to file papers this morning at the Royal Courts of Justice after BBC and ITV officials instructed him to remove parts of his Party Election Broadcast which was aired on Wednesday evening.
Cllr Craig, a long-standing campaigner against the “mega-mosque”, due to be built in Newham close to the site of the Olympic Games, originally described the organisation behind it, Tablighi Jamaat, as “separatist”. However, BBC and ITV officials responsible for supervising the Broadcasts instructed him to moderate his views and change this description of the Islamic organisation if he wanted it aired.
Cllr Craig claims not only “political interference” by the broadcasters, but says such action breeches his rights under the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects freedom of speech.
According to the Christian Legal Centre, Cllr Craig changed the word to “controversial” under duress. Late in the day ITV insisted that the agreed word “controversial” should be applied to the mosque plans not to the Islamic group. Cllr Craig’s objections to the mega-mosque, however, have consistently been related to the nature of the Islamic group behind the project – the plans have not yet been published.
And good for BBC and ITV, we say. Mind you, “separatist” and “controversial” represent quite restrained language as far as Alan Craig is concerned. This is the man whose press releases feature headlines such as “Olympics mega-mosque linked to London and Glasgow car bomb plots“.