BBC's refusal to play song deriding May sparks protest

LONDON • Dozens of people protested outside the BBC's London headquarters on Friday against its decision not to broadcast a song storming the charts before Thursday'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 ruling Conservatives' spending cuts, the song stitches together samples of Mrs May's speeches with a chorus of "She's a liar liar, no you can't trust her". One verse goes: "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."

Mrs 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.

Mr Sam Fairbairn, who helped organise the protest, criticised the BBC for not playing the song, saying it had chimed with voters.

The BBC has refused to play the song because it violates the broadcaster's 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.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 04, 2017, with the headline 'BBC's refusal to play song deriding May sparks protest'. Print Edition | Subscribe