The BBC and Independent Television Commission have backed down over
their plans to stop carrying party political broadcasts.
Strong opposition from Labour persuaded TV bosses to shelve their
proposal to restrict the broadcasts to election periods. The climb-down
followed veiled threats that the Government might legislate to force the
BBC to honour its ’public service broadcasting’ commitments.
Although the BBC and ITC dropped their threat to end non-election
broadcasts from next January, the future of the PPBs remains
After an impasse, the TV companies and political parties will launch
another review next June, when Labour will press its case for PPBs to be
much shorter than the current five-minute slots.
Labour said making PPBs more like ads would be less disruptive to TV
However, the BBC opposes short PPBs - fearing they would prove a
backdoor route to ads on BBC TV.