November 14, 2016
Ofcom is proposing to remove the “larger parties” list from the Broadcasting Code and from its rules for party political and referendum broadcasts.
These rules require relevant broadcasters to allocate at least two party election broadcasts to each “larger” political party, as defined on the list, ahead of an election.
Ofcom is proposing to replace the “larger parties” list with a requirement to base editorial decisions about election coverage and party political broadcast allocation on evidence of past electoral support and/or current support.
To assist smaller broadcasters in making editorial decisions, Ofcom is proposing to produce an annual digest of evidence of past electoral support and current support ahead of each set of elections.
Ofcom has also published the first of a series of consultations as Ofcom prepares for its new responsibilities regulating the BBC next year, following the publication of the new draft Royal Charter and Agreement in September, which introduced full external regulation of the BBC by Ofcom.
The consultation invites comments on amendments Ofcom is proposing to make to certain sections of the Broadcasting Code, and to the rules on party political and referendum broadcasts so that they apply to BBC services.
The deadline for responses is 16 January 2017. To access the consultation documentation, click here.