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Red faces as BBC plays 2015 election broadcast

By Staff Reporter

Listeners to BBC Radio Foyle were left baffled on Friday as they listened to an election broadcast in which Naomi Long urged them to "step forward and vote Alliance on May 7" - a full month before the general election.

The north west station mistakenly broadcast a 2015 election appeal by the Alliance leader, rather than the slickly-produced current version the party created for the forthcoming June 8 poll.

The Alliance Party immediately launched a probe into how the timewarp broadcast could have happened.

Last night a spokesman for Alliance said the error had happened inside the BBC.

"The correct radio edit of Alliance's 2017 general election broadcast was sent to the BBC and broadcast on Radio Ulster on Friday," he said.

"However, it would appear Radio Foyle mistakenly ran our 2015 broadcast instead.

"We trust they will rectify the error in due course."

The BBC last night held its hands up to the error.

In a statement to the Belfast Telegraph, the BBC said: "The Alliance Party provided us with their 2017 party election broadcast, which was made in accordance with election guidelines and contained accurate dates.

"Unfortunately, an Alliance Party election broadcast from the 2015 general election was broadcast in error in the Foyle area.

"We have made the Alliance Party aware and apologise for any confusion caused."

It's believed the broadcaster will re-transmit the election appeal - but using the correct file next time.

Naomi Long is the Alliance Party candidate in the East Belfast constituency.

She previously served as MP for the same constituency from 2010 to 2015, winning the seat from then DUP leader Peter Robinson.

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