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BBC challenged over attitude to Easter Lily

25 March, 2005

North Antrim Assembly member Philip McGuigan has demanded that the BBC adopt the same policy towards the wearing of the Easter Lily as they do to the wearing of the poppy.

Mr McGuigan said:

"The BBC is a public body they expect without question nationalists and republicans to pay their wages through the licence fee yet it is an organisation hostile to their political objectives.

"Presenters are forced to wear the poppy symbol in the lead up to remembrance events in November regardless of their own political views, no such policy operates in relation to the Easter Lily. This is a clear case of political bias and discrimination. Either the BBC afford the Easter Lily the same respect as the poppy or they adopt a position of neutrality.

"The current situation of adopting a hierarchy of victims is unacceptable. The Irish Republican war dead have to be afforded the same respect as the British war dead. This is a black and white issue. The BBC can no longer be allowed to sit back and discriminate against the republican community in this fashion. To any impartial observer the BBC policy in relation to the wearing of symbols is biased and I believe flies in the face of the Good Friday Agreement demand that symbols be used sensitively." ENDS

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