Borders candidate 'excluded' from election programme

Borders election candidate Jesse Rae has complained to Ofcom after being left out of ITV election programme ‘Representing Borders’.

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 10:42 pm
Independent candidate Jesse Rae.

One of six candidates standing for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire in next month’s Scottish election, Mr Rae (pictured) says he was the only one not asked to contribute to the programme, which aired on April 15.

The independent candidate said: “This was an election special informing the public of their choice for the constituency.

“Since the programme aired, I have been contacted by people who have now cast their postal vote and were completely unaware that I was in the election, due to not being filmed or interviewed about my policies.”

ITV Border told Mr Rae that it followed Ofcom guidance on election coverage, which included giving due weight to parties and candidates.

The broadcaster said that while it took on board Mr Rae’s unhappiness at not being asked to contribute, it had to “take into account evidence of past electoral support and/or current support” when determining the level of coverage given to parties and independent candidates.

However, Mr Rae insists ITV could not know the level of support he has currently.

"I was the only candidate excluded from a program to inform the public about the candidates, three weeks from the election and right in the middle of the postal vote,” he said.

“I have taken ITV's advice and I have made an offical complaint to Ofcom and I’m waiting to hear from the electoral commission, but the harm has already been done.”​​​​​​​