Independent candidate Abi McGuire invited to BBC hustings after being 'excluded'

-Credit: (Image: Abi McGuire)
-Credit: (Image: Abi McGuire)


An independent candidate in the upcoming General Election has been invited to take part in an election hustings on the BBC after being initially "excluded" from taking part. BBC Radio 4 Today programme will give constituents a chance to ask questions to the candidates running for the Wells and Mendip Hills seat on Tuesday, June 11 in Blackford Village Hall.

But Abi McGuire, an independent candidate running for the Wells and Mendip Hills seat, said she was "excluded" from the event shortly after the announcement of the show. Abi said her repeated requests for inclusion have been denied by the BBC.

After initial rejection by the BBC, Abi McGuire shared on Tuesday morning that she will now take part in the radio show. Abi is now relieved to be on the show after believing the BBC "are determined to silence my voice and the thousands of people who have engaged with me."

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Since January 2023, Abi said she has spent 18 months personally engaging with voters, knocking on 22,027 doors and attending all 51 parish councils. Abi, who is also an independent councillor at Shepton Mallet Council, is currently undergoing a self-funded campaign saw her leave her job at the University of Bath in October 2023.

The programme, which will be recorded on the Tuesday evening, will invite attendees to submit questions to candidates. Highlights will be broadcast on the programme on the morning of Wednesday, June 12.

Of the 650 seats up for grabs in this General Election, Today have chosen Wells and Mendip Hills as one of just six to "tell the story of the election" to its listeners. The other hustings will be for the constituencies of Norwich North, Dagenham and Rainham, Motherwell, Wishaw & Carluke, and Bolton West.

The Wells and Mendip Hills election is bound to be historic because it is the first time the new seat has ever been contested. The new constituency includes Wells, Shepton Mallet, Axbridge, Cheddar, Yatton, and more.

There are currently six candidates running for the brand new Wells and Mendip Hills seat in the upcoming General Election, namely Helen Hims for Reform UK, Joe Joseph for Labour, Independent candidate Abi McGuire, Tessa Munt for the Liberal Democrats, Meg Powell-Chandler for the Conservatives, and Peter Welsh for the Green Party.

BBC was contacted for a statement but did not respond in time.