The Scottish National Party (‘SNP’) has apparently dropped its legal challenge against the BBC for refusing to allow its leader Alex Salmond to take part in the televised leader’s debates during this year’s General Election.
The SNP had obtained permission for a judicial review of the BBC‘s refusal to give the SNP the same status as Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats in the General Election debates involving David Cameron, Nick Clegg and the then Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.
The SNP has said the legal action has now been withdrawn “with the agreement of both parties” meaning that the judicial review application has been dropped and this was confirmed in joint Press Statement by the SNP and the BBC:-
“In light of the fact that the election period is now over, the SNP and the BBC confirm that the legal action brought by the SNP in relation to the prime ministerial debates has been withdrawn with the agreement of both parties,” the statement said.
“As the arrangements for coverage of the next general election lie entirely in the future both parties recognise that the SNP’s application is now academic and substantial legal expenses would be incurred on both sides. From the BBC’s perspective that would not serve the interests of licence-fee payers.”
The BBC has apparently decided to review the leaders’ debates to see how they could be improved if they are staged again. The SNP was apparently not offered any deals over future debates in exchange for dropping its legal action, but the corporation may try to incorporate the devolved nations in future events.