Molly Scott Cato, the Green Party MEP for Bristol, has slammed the BBC after it revealed plans to sideline the Greens in its election coverage .
The BBC's programming plan, announced yesterday, reveals UKIP - which received far fewer votes in last week's local elections - will be given an individual election programme, which will be broadcast from Bristol. The Greens will not.
UKIP leader Paul Nuttall will also be interviewed by BBC presenter Andrew Neil in one of a series of programmes throughout the week beginning May 22. Green Party leaders Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley will not.
Social media users have accused the BBC of being 'biased' towards UKIP, with the hashtag #InviteTheGreens  trending on social media networks. The hashtag was last popular when the Greens were initially excluded from the 2015 televised election debates .
Commenting on the announcement, Molly Scott Cato, who is also standing as the Green Party parliamentary candidate for Bristol West, said:
"The BBC's love affair with UKIP is as astounding as it is embarrassing. We expect and deserve so much more from the BBC. UKIP was wiped out in the local elections, they were left with just one seat and looking to be heading to win one fewer than that in the general election yet the BBC, once again, confirms the Party will always have a safe seat in the corporation's news studios. It is getting beyond a joke."
"That the BBC have chosen to broadcast the UKIP programme from Bristol just adds insult to injury. The Greens can win in Bristol. UKIP can't. In Bristol West, the constituency in which I hope to make history on June 8 by doubling the Green Party's representation in Parliament, almost 80% of people voted to remain in the European Union."
"From speaking to people on the doorstep, I know UKIP's attempts to win cheap headlines with its migrant blaming, EU-scapegoating, and blatantly Islamophobic policies  holds no sway with voters. Bristol is seeking a different kind of politics. With the Green Party, this is possible. We're bringing new thinking and putting radical voices on the frontline of British politics. We aim to deliver a future to believe in. It's time."
* Photo credit © European Union 2015 - European Parliament from Flickr