Tyler Wilson-Kerr, Nick Palmer and Andrew Gray
Tyler Wilson-Kerr, Nick Palmer and Andrew Gray

Selby & Ainsty by-election independent candidates say they are being marginalised by the BBC

18 July 2023

Tyler Wilson-Kerr, Nick Palmer, and Andrew Gray are standing as independent candidates in the Selby & Ainsty by-election, with the vote on 20 July 2023.

The willingness to engage by some of the candidates has been variable, and media coverage was initially very poor, but has picked-up to a degree – we have found that Liberal Democrats, Labour, and Conservative, have not wanted to engage on any level with us.

From a media reporting perspective, and fairness, one problem is that there are 13 candidates to consider. We have found a willingness from the independent candidates to engage.

Joint Statement by Independent Candidates: Councillor Tyler Wilson-Kerr, Nick Palmer and Andrew Gray dated 16 July 2023:

Predictably, coverage of the Selby and Ainsty by-election has been mired in BBC Bias. Independent candidates, Councillor Tyler Wilson-Kerr, Nick Palmer and Andrew Gray, have been marginalised. Whilst non-state-owned media have been fairer, it is a disservice to voters that Independent candidates face such inequalities in timing and extent of coverage.

Independents are a vital voice in British Democracy, not beholden to the Party Whips – an archaic system which crushes democracy.

Absence of the Independent candidates from BBC coverage gives the electorate the impression that they are not able to win; that they are not working hard. Nothing could be further from the truth. The mood of the constituency is one of change. Most people we speak to do not align with any political party.

Tyler, Nick and Andrew all bring valuable experience to this election. The habit of mainstream media to treat elections as a largely binary choice is both insulting to Yorkshire voters and damaging to democracy. Tyler is both the youngest candidate this election, and the youngest Parish Councillor in the country. Recognisable youth representation is vital for the future development of British Politics and the BBC’s refusal to cover the Independent candidates is harmful to our democracy.

In Selby’s 2022 May local elections, Independents came third. With so many candidates, the likely margin of victory is likely to be small. The State Broadcaster’s position could sway this election.

A BBC Spokesperson said:
Any suggestion we will not be covering independent candidates is wrong.
We will be featuring every candidate in our coverage across the BBC – whatever their affiliations – and everyone will be asked to take part in our election coverage in the run-up to the poll.

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