The three Independent candidates in this week’s Selby and Ainsty by-election have accused the BBC of bias.
Harrogate-based Andrew Gray, Tyler Wilson-Kerr and Nick Palmer issued a joint statement last night claiming they had been marginalised by the broadcaster.
The statement said:
“Absence of the Independent candidates from BBC coverage gives the electorate the impression that they are not able to win; that they are not working hard.
“Nothing could be further from the truth. The mood of the constituency is one of change. Most people we speak to do not align with any political party.”
Opinion polls suggest the by-election is a two-way fight between the Conservatives and Labour.
Betting company OddsChecker has Labour 1/7 to win, with the Conservatives at 11-2 and the Liberal Democrats at 100-1.
Conservative Nigel Adams, who won the seat in 2019 with a 20,137 majority in 2019, triggered the by-election when he resigned last month. It is one of three by-elections being contested on Thursday.
If Labour wins, it will be the biggest ever overturn of a Conservative majority. The party is expected to send several front bench heavyweights to the constituency this week as part of a final push.
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Thirteen candidates are standing in Thursday’s ballot.
The joint statement highlight how Independents came third at last year’s local elections in Selby and adds:
“With so many candidates, the likely margin of victory is likely to be small. The State Broadcaster’s position could sway this election.
“Tyler, Nick and Andrew all bring valuable experience to this election. The habit of mainstream media to treat elections as a largely binary choice is both insulting to Yorkshire voters and damaging to democracy.”