On Tuesday 11 February, the House of Lords Communications Committee will take evidence from the BBC, ITV and BSkyB in the first evidence session of its new inquiry into broadcast General Election debates.
On 15 April 2010, the first ever broadcast General Election debate between the UK’s three main party leaders was televised on ITV, followed one week later by a second debate on Sky News, and a third, one week after that on the BBC.
This precedent has prompted discussion about their impact in 2010 and whether they should take place again in 2015 and beyond. However, the Committee does not intend to focus its inquiry on this discussion, but will instead seek to clarify the way in which those debates were managed and operated.
A range of important decisions have to be made in connection with the management and operation of the broadcast General Election debates, from which broadcasters are involved to which parties participate and how obligations to due impartiality, more generally, are met. The Committee intends to determine whether the legal and regulatory framework around these decisions is sufficient to ensure the public interest is best served.
- Ric Bailey, Chief Adviser, Politics, BBC
- Michael Jermey, Director of News and Current Affairs, ITV
- John Ryley, Head of News, BSkyB
The evidence session will take place on Tuesday 11 February at 3.30 pm in Committee Room 2, House of Lords.