The BBC cancelled last night’s episode of Have I Got News For You (HIGNFY)at the last minute, saying it was “inappropriate” to air a show featuring Change UK leader Heidi Allen.

With the European elections coming up on 23 May, the broadcaster presumably decided it would contradict impartiality rules, something the BBC is regularly criticised for.

However, as Allen herself pointed out, the BBC regularly features Nigel Farage on its shows and had no problem having him on screen the night before on Thursday's episode of Question Time.

Many other viewers also made similar observations and pointed out that Allen isn't even standing as an MEP at the elections.

On Thursday evening, Allen teased her appearance on the show, tweeting out a picture of a sign with her name on it.

Hat Trick Productions, which produces HIGNFY, didn't seem impressed with the decision either:

The comedy panel show, which was set to air on BBC1 at 9pm, was replaced by Would I Lie To You?, leaving viewers initially confused.

A BBC statement said:

The BBC has specific editorial guidelines that apply during election periods.

Because of this it would be inappropriate to feature political party leaders on entertainment programmes during this short election period, which does not allow for equal representation to be achieved.

A HIGNFY source told the Press Association:

"The BBC told us late this afternoon that they had decided to pull the show. This was because Heidi Allen was on the panel, and, in their judgement, we’re officially in an election period. And she’s officially a party leader.

To be fair, you can forgive the BBC Editorial Policy Unit for having overlooked that fact until now (including when they came along to the recording last night).

We tried everything we could to get the BBC to broadcast it. We even offered to blur Heidi Allen’s face and replace her voice with an actor. Apparently that ‘wasn’t helpful’."

HT Huffington Post

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