BBC 'sorry' after playing Susan Hall party political broadcast instead of Sadiq Khan's

 (ES composite)
(ES composite)

The BBC has apologised to Sadiq Khan after accidentally replacing his mayoral election party political broadcast with one for his Tory rival, Susan Hall.

The mix-up happened just before 7pm on Tuesday night, when Mr Khan’s three-minute film should have been shown on BBC1 in London immediately after the end of the BBC London evening news.

Instead, despite the Labour broadcast being pre-announced, viewers unexpectedly saw the Tory film promoting Ms Hall for mayor.

Mr Khan’s election broadcast is now due to be shown on Wednesday night, though the BBC iPlayer is currently advertising “a party election broadcast by the Conservative party”.

A BBC spokesman told the Standard: “Following a scheduling mix up, Labour’s party political broadcast will be aired on BBC One London this evening.”

It is understood that both Mr Khan’s Labour re-election campaign and Ms Hall’s Tory campaign have received written apologies.

Campaign insiders were aghast that such an error could have happened.

 (Ped Millichamp)
(Ped Millichamp)

There was further frustration as the BBC iPlayer displayed a message for the remainder of Tuesday night saying that the Labour broadcast was “unavailable” – preventing it from being seen on catch-up.

The iPlayer continued to display the same message on Wednesday morning – meaning that Tory supporters were unable to replay Ms Hall’s video that was screened last night.

The Conservatives have been criticised for the nature of their campaign against Mr Khan. “Batman-style” doom-laden videos posted on social media have portrayed London as a crime-ridden city in which Mr Khan was said to have “seized” power.

Last month the Tories had to delete a video that used footage of a stampede in New York that viewers were led to believe had been filmed in London.

The Tuesday evening Conservative broadcast was in a similar vein and did not include an appearance by Ms Hall. However her name as the Tory mayoral candidate was mentioned at the end.