Demand for shorter PPBs gets response from electoral body

Labour's hopes of replacing traditional party political broadcasts (PPBs) with shorter slots were given a boost this week.

The Electoral Commission, which supervises elections in Britain, recommended that parties be given more flexibility over the length of their broadcasts.

The Commission stopped short of endorsing Labour's plan for 30-second political commercials. It suggested the minimum length for a PPB be cut from two minutes 40 seconds to one minute 30 seconds.

After an inquiry into the future of political broadcasting, the Commission proposed that PPBs be retained, and ruled out a switch to an American-style free-for-all. It said that satellite, digital and cable TV, and radio channels "with a significant audience share", should be forced to air PPBs, as well as terrestrial television channels.