About us

The Broadcasters' Liaison Group was formed in 1997 and comprises of representatives of each of the broadcasters who make airtime available to registered political parties and to designated organisations in referendum campaigns. Each broadcaster is responsible for deciding the allocations made available to a political party. However, through the BLG, broadcasters work together with the Electoral Commission to ensure a consistent approach.

Meetings of the BLG are chaired by the BBC's Chief Adviser, Politics.

The group meets from time to time to co-ordinate the criteria which each broadcaster applies in determining the amount of airtime to be made available.

Broadcasting opportunities made available to political parties fall into three categories:

  • Party Election Broadcasts (PEBs), which are offered to qualifying political parties, registered with the Electoral Commission, in the run-up to elections

  • Party Political Broadcasts (PPBs)

  • Ministerial Broadcasts, which, in exceptional circumstance, are offered to the government followed by responses by the main opposition parties.

The Ofcom Broadcasting Code (which regulates all the relevant broadcasters except the BBC) defines the main parties as: The Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats. In Scotland, the SNP is also included as is Plaid in Wales. In Northern Ireland the main political parties are the DUP, Sinn Fein, the SDLP, Ulster Unionists and the Alliance. (This does not apply to the BBC, which is regulated by the BBC Trust for these purposes.)

BLG Member Organisations

  • BBC

    Ric Bailey
    Chief Adviser, Politics 
    Editorial Policy

    BBC Broadcast Centre
    BC2 A1
    201, Wood Lane
    London W12 7TP

    Tel: 020 800 81805

    The BBC makes airtime available at general and European elections. In the Nations, airtime is made available for elections to devolved institutions and for local government. The BBC Trust takes appeals concerning BBC allocations.

  • ITV

    Chris Wissun
    Director of Programme Compliance

    London Television Centre
    Upper Ground
    London SE1 9LT

    Tel: 020 7261 3358

    The ITV regions make airtime available at general elections, European elections and local government elections. Airtime is also made available to the major parties for Party Political Broadcasts. ITV1 Wales also makes airtime available at elections to the Welsh Assembly and for local government elections in Wales.

  • STV

    Joan Darroch
    Head of Compliance


    Pacific Quay
    Glasgow
    G51 1PQ

    Tel: 0141 300 3311

    STV makes airtime available for [4 X seasonal broadcasts] to the Scottish Parliament and for local government elections in Scotland in addition to the commitments of the ITV Network.  In addition to the commitments of the Ch3 Network, STV carries Party Election Broadcasts (“PEBs”), Party Political Broadcasts (“PPBs”), Referendum Campaign Broadcasts ("RCBs") and Local Election Broadcasts in Scotland.  

  • UTV

    Chris Hagan
    Editor of News

    Ormeau Road
    Belfast
    BT7 1EB


    Tel: 028 90 262000

    In addition to the commitments of the ITV network, UTV makes airtime available at elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly and for local government elections in Northern Ireland

  • Channel 4

    Emily Barber
    Legal & Compliance

    124 Horseferry Road
    London
    SW1P 2TX

    Tel: 020 7396 4444

    Channel Four makes airtime available at general elections. In addition airtime is also made available to the major parties and the main minor parties through ‘The Political Slot', 16 of which are allocated annually.

  • Five

    Martin Stott

    22 Long Acre
    London
    WC2E 9LY

    Tel: 020 7550 5655


    Five makes airtime available at general elections and European elections.

  • Sky

    Peter Lowe
    Assistant Editor
    Sky News

    Grant Way
    Isleworth
    Middlesex
    TW7 5QD

    Tel: 020 7585 4418

    Sky News makes airtime available on a voluntary basis at general elec

  • S4C

    Angharad Evans
    Head of Legal

    S4C Parc Ty Glas
    Llanishen
    Cardiff
    Wales
    CF14 5DU

    Phone: +44(0)29 20741227 or +44(0)29 20747444

    S4C makes airtime available at general elections and European elections, elections to National Assembly for Wales and for local government elections.

  • Absolute Radio

    Absolute Radio, in line with a number of other national commercial radio stations, carries campaign broadcasts during general election and referendum campaigns.

  • Classic FM

    Classic FM carries Party Election Broadcasts (‘PEBs”) for general elections and Referendum Campaign Broadcasts (“RCBs”) for UK referendums

  • talkSPORT

     

    talkSPORT, in line with a number of other national commercial radio stations, carries campaign broadcasts during general election and referendum campaigns.

  • The Electoral Commission

    Warren Seddon
    Head of Media and Public Affairs

    The Electoral Commission
    3 Bunhill Row
    London, EC1Y 8YZ

    The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 requires the proposed criteria for Party Election Broadcasts to be sent to the Electoral Commission for comment. They attend BLG meetings as an observer.