BBC to show delayed Have I Got News For You episode featuring Heidi Allen
An episode of Have I Got News For You featuring South Cambridgeshire MP Heidi Allen will finally be screened by the BBC.
It was delayed from the original date of transmission on May 11 because Ms Allen was then the interim leader of Change UK - The Independent Group, which was fielding candidates in the May 23 European elections.
The BBC said “specific editorial guidelines” during election periods that meant it would be “inappropriate to feature political party leaders on entertainment programmes” as it would not allow “equal representation” to be achieved.
With the election over, the episode will now screened at 10.30pm on BBC One tonight (Sunday June 9. 2019). Guest hosted by Jo Brand, the satirical current affairs show features team captains Paul Merton and Ian Hislop.
Comedian Phil Wang is the other panellist alongside Ms Allen.
Since it was filmed, Ms Allen has left Change UK and is sitting as an independent MP, along with five of her former party colleagues.
Ms Allen quit the Tories to join the emerging independent group of MPs, which formed themselves into Change UK ahead of the European elections.
But the party performed poorly in the elections, failing to get a single MEP elected to the European Parliament.
Ms Allen said she left Change UK because it put party above country in the election, rejecting her wishes to encourage the electorate to vote tactically for a party supporting remaining in the EU.
The decision to delay the original screening of the episide of Have I Got News For You provoked some controversy.
Some commenting on social media pointed out that Nigel Farage, the Brexit Party leader who was standing for election as an MEP, made his 34th appearance on political debate show Question Time the previous night. But the show is part of the BBC's political output and had featured other party representatives, including Anna Soubry, of Change UK.