BBC Slammed For ‘Shameful’ Election Coverage In Scilly

polling station scillyThe BBC appears to have whitewashed the Isles of Scilly from the political map of the South West.

That’s the view of several islanders who have complained to the corporation for failing to mention the islands in an item on the St Ives constituency that was shown on last Thursday’s ‘Spotlight’ news programme.

It was one in a series of reports about key marginal seats in the region.

We weren’t even shown on the map.

But St Mary’s-based photographer Chris Hall says it annoyed him so much, he wrote his first ever complaint to the BBC.

He felt that Scilly is such an integral and important part of the constituency that we should have at least been mentioned.

He said if the BBC is going to do these types of reports, then they “should try to find out the facts” and talk about some of the key political debates in the area.

Peter Hayes was also watching the report and used social media to complain.

Peter is the retired Political Editor at ITV Carlton, Central and Westcountry and spent eight years working for the BBC.

In his time in the industry he made several constituency reports, but says this one was “really off kilter.”

Peter says St Ives is critically important because it’s such a close-run seat. And that means the 1,300 votes here on the islands “could be the difference between winning and losing.”

So doing a report that doesn’t mention Scilly is “shameful,” he says.

Peter felt that the presenter was more concerned with style over substance, filming in art galleries, museums and on the beach, rather than talking about the real issues.

Scilly gets millions in European cash so the EU is important and further austerity could also hit us hard, but that wasn’t mentioned, says Peter.

He says they should have asked each candidate what they’d do for Scilly, to “test that they even know what’s going on here.”

The BBC is our national broadcaster, paid for by us says Peter, so they have a duty to cover politics properly.

We asked the BBC why Scilly wasn’t mentioned in their Spotlight item.

A spokesperson said the report didn’t make any references at all to the geographical extent of the constituency, and was filmed in St Ives and Penzance.

They added that the Scillies have certainly not been ‘excluded’ from Spotlight’s election coverage – the BBC will be featuring Scilly this week in an item looking at the logistical challenge of getting the ballot boxes back to the count in Cornwall.

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