The BBC refused to include UKIP Member of Parliament Mark Reckless in a debate on the European Union and the ongoing Greek crisis because he is not a woman. The party has said that it will not find a woman spokesman to replace Mr Reckless in the debate because that would be “crazy political correctness”.
The debate is due to be pre-recorded on Thursday for future broadcast on the BBC4. Speaking to the Guardian, a spokesman for UKIP confirmed that the party had been invited to send a representative to take part in the debate.
“We put forward Mark Reckless because he’s the expert on these matters. But the BBC said it already had an all-male panel and asked us to put a woman forward,” she said. “We’ve refused, because it is yet more crazy political correctness. So we’re at a deadlock.”
A BBC spokesman told the paper: “We always aim to have a range of people and opinions on the programme, and are having ongoing discussions with a number of potential guests for this debate.”
The UKIP spokesperson also confirmed that the party had refused an invitation to appear on Newsnight in order to discuss the controversial ‘mockumentary’ Ukip: The First 100 Days, described by Ukip leader Nigel Farage as a “biased, partisan depiction” of the party.
However, they insisted that they are not boycotting the BBC but merely wished to let the matter lie, saying “We get daily requests to appear on Newsnight, some of which we accept, and some of which we turn down. We decided we didn’t want to discuss this matter any further.”