Ukip MEP urges C4 docudrama probe

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Published: Tuesday 17th February 2015 by The News Editor

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The communications watchdog should take action after the screening of a docudrama which envisaged riots on the streets of Britain in the event of a Ukip election victory, one of the party’s MEPs has said.

Ukip: The First 100 Days, a mix of archive footage with scripted scenes featuring actress Priyanga Burford playing the part of the party’s only Asian woman MP, predicted riots between protesters for and against tough anti-immigration raids and featured a factory closing after the UK withdraws from the EU.

Burford’s character in the Channel 4 programme is elected for Romford in an imagined landslide that puts Nigel Farage in Number 10 and she is left grappling with her conscience amid the raids and protests.

Speaking after the mockumentary aired, Gerard Batten, UKIP MEP for London and party general election candidate for Romford, described it as “bile and vitriol”.

Asked by interviewer Duncan Barkes on LBC radio whether the watchdog Ofcom should look into complaints made about the programme, Mr Batten said: “I think they certainly should, because as I say, yes, political debate is one thing, and having a debate where people can put another point of view, or even a factual documentary about a political party. But this wasn’t that.

“I’m not quite sure what you would describe it as apart from a piece of bile and vitriol from our political opponents, who don’t happen to be in a political party, they’re in a TV channel and don’t have to go through the inconvenience of running for office.

“They can just spout their views and don’t actually have to go out and defend them in elections, which we do.”

Channel 4’s head of documentaries Nick Mirsky said “a lot of research” went into the film and Mr Farage had been invited to watch it before broadcast.

He said: “We did invite Farage to come and do an interview after the programme in which case he would have seen it before it went out but he declined.

“We do reflect that they say they’re going to put more money in the NHS, we do reflect that they’ve got thoughtful, considered MPs, we do reflect various things about them but we suggest the ride over those first 100 days might be quite bumpy.”

Published: Tuesday 17th February 2015 by The News Editor

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