Insights Ofcom publishes Note to broadcasters on politicians acting as presenters during election period


Ahead of the local election period, Ofcom has published a Note to broadcasters reminding them of the rules on politicians acting as presenters.

The Note essentially reminds broadcasters of Rule 6.6 of the Broadcasting Code, which states:

“Candidates in UK elections, and representatives of permitted participants in UK referendums, must not act as news presenters, interviewers or presenters of any type of programme during the election period”.

This means that no candidate who is standing nominated at the start of the appropriate election period may appear as a presenter of any type of programme until after the close of the poll. The Code defines a “candidate” as having the meaning given to it in s 93 of the Representation of the People Act 1983 (as amended), i.e. a candidate standing nominated at the election or included in a list of candidates submitted in connection with it.

The Note explains that this rule is designed not just to prevent electoral issues from being reported in a partial manner, but also to help secure the integrity of the democratic process, and the public’s trust in that integrity, by preventing any unfair electoral advantage being afforded to a particular candidate through their appearance on licensed services. To access the Note in full, click here.