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BBC cancel Have I Got News For You episode over appearance of

Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The long-running BBC topical quiz Have I Got News For You was pulled from the air last night in an apparent wrangle over the appearance of Change UK leader Heidi Allen MP.A BBC spokesman said last night: “The BBC has specific editorial guidelines that apply during election periods. “Because of this it would be inappropriate to feature political party leaders on entertainment programmes during this short election period, which does not allow for equal representation to be achieved. “So we will not broadcast the scheduled episode of HIGNFY featuring Heidi Allen, leader of Change UK. We will look to broadcast this episode at a later date.”A message on the programme maker’s Twitter feed said: “Sorry everyone. The BBC have pulled tonight’s edition of #HIGNFY – no, we didn’t book Danny Baker.“We booked Heidi Allen, a member of a party no-one knows the name of (not even the people in it), because the Euro elections, which nobody wants, may or may not be happening. Sorry.”Trying to see the funny side, the programme added: “BBC issues urgent advice not to look at pictures of Heidi Allen in case she influences Euro election result.”And then: “Tune in on Monday for Have I Got Less News For You.” The programme – hosted this week by comedian Jo Brand and featuring Ms Allen on Ian Hislop’s team and comedian Phil Wang on Paul Merton’s team – was recorded on Thursday night.Ms Allen told The Telegraph last night that she was given just two hours’ notice of the cancellation.She said: “I had been booked for ages.” She added that she had been told it was because of the “closeness to the EU elections”.Ms Allen added: “Maybe I am just not as funny as Nigel Farage – he is on the BBC all the time.”

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