June 2, 2017 / 6:43 PM / 4 months ago

Protest after BBC says won't play 'liar liar' song ahead of UK vote

The band Captain Ska perform their song "Liar Liar" in protest against the BBC's broadcast restrictions outside Broadcasting House in London, Britain June 2, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall

LONDON (Reuters) - Dozens of people protested outside the BBC’s London headquarters on Friday against its decision not to broadcast a song storming the charts before next week’s election that labels Prime Minister Theresa May a liar.

“Liar Liar GE2017” by Captain SKA now tops Amazon’s listing for songs downloaded in Britain and stands at No.2 in Apple’s iTunes UK chart despite receiving no airplay from radio stations.

Hitting out at the spending cuts of Britain’s ruling Conservative Party, the song stitches together samples of May’s speeches with a chorus of “She’s a liar liar, no you can’t trust her”.

“We all know politicians like telling lies / Big ones, little ones, porky pies / Saying they’re strong and stable, won’t disguise / We’re still being taken for a ride,” reads one verse.

May called the snap election in a bid to strengthen her hand in Brexit negotiations, to win more time to deal with the impact of the divorce and to strengthen her grip on the Conservative Party.

Sam Fairbairn, who helped organize the protest, criticized the BBC for not playing the song, saying it had chimed with voters ahead of the June 8 election.

“The reason why the track has done so well is because it’s a reflection of a much wider and deeper mood in society today that’s going against what the Conservative Party is doing,” he said.

“We think the BBC and the other broadcasters have a duty to reflect that public opinion, which they refuse to do.”

The BBC has refused to play the song because it violates their editorial guidelines and commitment to impartiality.

”We do not ban songs or artists, however our editorial guidelines require us to remain impartial and the UK is currently in an election period so we will not play the song,” a Radio 1 spokesman said.

Previous songs which the BBC has refused to play include “God Save The Queen” by punk band the Sex Pistols, released to coincide with Queen Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee in 1977, and “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead,” a song from the Wizard of Oz which entered UK charts in 2013 after former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher died.

London band Captain SKA has said that all proceeds from the track between May 26 and June 8 will be split between local food banks and the People’s Assembly Against Austerity.

Editing by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Tom Heneghan

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