Independents standing in this week’s Selby and Ainsty by-election have hit out at the BBC, saying the state broadcaster has left them ‘marginalised.’

In a joint statement by Independent candidates, Cllr Tyler Wilson-Kerr, Nick Palmer and Andrew Gray, said yesterday (Mon): “Predictably, coverage of the Selby and Ainsty by-election has been mired in BBC Bias."

“Whilst non-state-owned media have been fairer, it is a disservice to voters that Independent candidates face such inequalities in timing and extent of coverage.”

“Independents are a vital voice in British Democracy, not beholden to the Party Whips – an archaic system which crushes democracy.”


Their statement continued: “Absence of the Independent candidates from BBC coverage gives the electorate the impression that they are not able to win; that they are not working hard. Nothing could be further from the truth. The mood of the constituency is one of change. Most people we speak to do not align with any political party.”

 The three say they all bring ‘valuable’ experience to the election.

Aged 24, Tyler Wilson Kerr is not only the youngest of the by-election candidates, they say but also the youngest parish councillor in the country.


Andrew Gray has received national coverage in his bid to use artificial intelligence to engage with voters and direct how he would vote in parliament, if elected.

And Nick Palmer has called on voters to support  him in his bid to tackle the ‘Westminster bubble’ and help the ‘politically homeless.’

The three further said: “The habit of mainstream media to treat elections as a largely binary choice is both insulting to Yorkshire voters and damaging to democracy.

“Recognisable youth representation is vital for the future development of British Politics and the BBC’s refusal to cover the Independent candidates is harmful to our democracy.”

They added: “In Selby's 2022 May local elections, Independents came third. With so many candidates, the likely margin of victory is likely to be small. The State Broadcaster’s position could sway this election.”


 A BBC Spokesperson said: "Any suggestion we will not be covering independent candidates is wrong. We will be featuring every candidate in our coverage across the BBC – whatever their affiliations – and everyone will be asked to take part in our election coverage in the run-up to the poll."

The spokesperson then added a link to its website where all candidates feature in alphabetical order.