UPDATE: Abi McGuire was invited to join the BBC Radio 4 Today programme hustings on Monday, June 10, her campaign team have said.

INDEPENDENT parliamentary candidate for Wells and Mendip Hills, Abi McGuire, claims she has been “excluded” from the upcoming BBC Radio 4 Today programme hustings. 

The hustings will be hosted by Justin Webb at Blackford Village Hall on Tuesday, June 11. Abi McGuire claims she has been “denied equal representation”, despite the event’s promise to “give constituents a chance to ask questions to the candidates”.

Other candidates standing for the seat are Independent Craig Clarke, Reform UK’s Helen Hims, Labour’s Joe Joseph, Independent Abi McGuire, Liberal Democrat’s Tessa Munt, Conservative’s Meg Powell-Chandler and Green Party’s Peter Welsh.

McGuire says she has repeatedly requested to be included in the debate but has been denied.

The candidate said she had dedicated 18 months to personally engaging with voters, knocking on 22,027 doors and attending all 51 parish councils since January 2023.

Abi left her job at the University of Bath in October 2023 to “set a new standard in politics”.

Abi, who plans to hold her own “gathering” outside the venue on Tuesday, said: “The system of patronage and the BBC’s charter to ‘inform, educate and entertain’ should not be biased.

"Yet, it seems they are determined to silence my voice and the thousands of people who have engaged with me”.

She added: “I will continue to inform the public on my own terms. While they may keep me from the inside, they cannot stop me from reaching out to the people outside the venue on the day.”

 A BBC spokesperson said: “In making decisions over our political coverage during an election campaign, performance at the last equivalent elections, over at least two electoral cycles (i.e. 2019 and 2017), is a key factor, as well as other factors, including current national polling.”

Today Programme listeners will be able to hear the highlights on the Today Programme on June 12.