UK allowed to maintain ban on paid political TV adverts

THE PARTY political broadcast is here to stay after a European court yesterday backed the UK’s ban on political groups buying television and radio adverts.

Judges at the European Court of Human Rights decided by a margin of nine to eight that the restrictions on buying airtime did not violate the right to free speech, following a test case brought by animal rights campaigners.

British politicians broadly welcomed the move, saying the UK cherishes its relative freedom from the blanket negative campaigns that appear during foreign elections.

But advert bookers and broadcasters will miss out on the mega-payday that would have occurred if parties had attempted to outspend each other on the airwaves.

“[The ban] ensures the political views broadcast into our homes are not determined by those with the deepest pockets,” said culture secretary Maria Miller.