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Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Ofcom rule that a photo of Siobhan Benita on ITV mayoral debate is fair coverage

The broadcasting regulator Ofcom has ruled that simply having a photograph of Independent candidate Siobhan Benita in the ITV mayoral debate on April 24th constituted fair coverage for the independent candidate.

In a ruling described as “farcical” by Ms Benita, Ofcom also pointed to the fact that a member of the studio audience had mentioned Siobhan Benita in a question. The photograph, the audience question and the fact that the following day ITV London allowed Ms Benita time in a reaction package, meant that Ofcom dismissed her claim of unfair coverage in the ITV mayoral debate.

In a separate ruling, Ofcom also rejected her appeal that Sky News had not given her fair coverage, citing the fact that she had appeared in two newspaper reviews and on the Murnaghan show as evidence of fair coverage. Ms Benita has never been on the Sunday morning Murnaghan programme. In her two newspaper reviews, she was not allowed to talk about her policies while running for mayor. So Ofcom's ruling is factually incorrect and they should now look at it again.

Today’s opinion poll in the Times puts Siobhan Benita neck and neck with the Brian Paddick of the Liberal Democrats. As ITV wont allow Ms Benita a fair hearing, here is a video of her answering questions that people have been asking her: