MP pressures BBC to air aid film

January 27, 2009 12:00 AM

Paul Rowen MP - Fighting for Justice in Gaza!Rochdale MP Paul Rowen has joined more than 120 of his colleagues criticising the BBC and Sky for not broadcasting a plea for aid funding for Gaza.

ITV, Channel 4 and Five aired the Disasters Emergency Committee's Gaza Crisis Appeal yesterday (Monday 26 January). The BBC say that showing the film would put their impartiality at risk.

An Early Day Motion, started by Richard Burton MP, condemning the BBC and Sky, has now been signed by more than 120 MPs, Mr Rowen.

Paul Rowen said: "There must be a full resumption of aid and support for reconstruction of Gaza. This includes opening the border crossings from both Egypt and Israel to allow the free passage of aid under UN auspices.

"The decision by the BBC not to allow DEC (Disasters Emergency Committee) to broadcast an appeal on the BBC is to be condemned. I have written to the Director General of the BBC condemning this decision. I am pleased that following the earlier outcry other broadcasters have agreed to broadcast the appeal. Public pressure must be applied to the BBC for it to do the same."

Meanwhile, following a recent meeting of the Rochdale Borough Multifaith Partnership at the Rochdale Centre of Diversity, members pledged support for action to address the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Gaza.

The Partnership has called on "the UK Government, the international community and especially the high contracting parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to uphold the present ceasefire by the deployment of a UN monitoring force to protect all civilians."