BBC pulls Have I Got News For You over Heidi Allen impartiality

The BBC has pulled the latest episode of Have I Got News For You, as the broadcaster said it would have been “inappropriate” for Change UK leader Heidi Allen to be a guest ahead of the European elections.

The comedy quiz show, which airs on BBC One and grills guests on the week’s top stories, tweeted shortly before the pre-recorded programme was due to air to say it had been withdrawn.

The broadcaster referred to its editorial guidelines after they announced the episode of the panel show, with Ian Hislop and Paul Merton, would be broadcast at a later date.

In a tweet, Have I Got News For You’s official account said: “Sorry everyone.

“The BBC have pulled tonight’s edition of #HIGNFY – no, we didn’t book Danny Baker.

“We booked Heidi Allen, a member of a party no-one knows the name of (not even the people in it), because the Euro elections, which nobody wants, may or may not be happening.

“Sorry.”

Scheduled for 9pm on BBC One, the show was replaced with Would I Lie to You?, which should have aired afterwards.

In response, Twitter users pointed out that Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage had been a panellist on  BBC Question Time on Thursday.

A BBC statement said: “The BBC has specific editorial guidelines that apply during election periods.

“Because of this it would be inappropriate to feature political party leaders on entertainment programmes during this short election period, which does not allow for equal representation to be achieved.

“So we will not broadcast the scheduled episode of HIGNFY featuring Heidi Allen, leader of Change UK. We will look to broadcast this episode at a later date.”

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