Labour complain to Ofcom over Sky News 'Brexit Election' slogan

Posted On: 
16th November 2019

The Labour party has written to Ofcom to complain about Sky News branding its coverage of the upcoming vote as the “Brexit Election”.


The party described the channel's banner as 'unfair'
PA Images

The party claims the banner, regularly displayed at the bottom of the screen, gives “undue and unfair weight” to the Tories’ political agenda. 

Labour said the news channel’s choice of branding “represents unnecessary and slanted editorialising”. 

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It added: “We are requesting that Ofcom investigates Sky News for its corporate branding of the general election as ‘the Brexit Election’.

“We believe it gives undue and unfair weight to the Conservative party’s political agenda because it frames the election in terms chosen by Boris Johnson and the Conservative party, which is using Brexit in its campaign slogan.

“It is also, of course, the name being used by one of the political parties contesting seats in the election [the Brexit party], which is seeking to form an electoral alliance with the Conservatives.

“If Sky had chosen the entirely reasonable branding of ‘the Change Election’, that could be argued to favour the Labour party, which is using: ‘It’s Time for Real Change.’

“We do not believe Sky is complying with the special impartiality requirements that must be applied during elections – with particular reference to sections 319(2)(c) and 320 of the Communications Act 2003.

“We believe this corporate branding represents unnecessary and slanted editorialising by Sky. It is the voting public who should decide what issues – and their range and balance – define the election for them.

“Voters might consider it to be the NHS Election, the Climate Election or the Foodbanks Election, depending on their priorities.

“We have raised the issue at a senior level with Sky News on numerous occasions since the branding first appeared.

“It has been made clear that Sky intends to continue to use the branding. We therefore believe we have exhausted our complaints with the broadcaster so we are asking Ofcom to investigate.”

A spokesman for Ofcom said it was assessing the complaints before deciding whether or not to investigate.

Sky News was not available for comment.