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Labour claims Sky News 'Brexit election' slogan breaches impartiality rules

The Labour Party has complained to Ofcom that Sky News’ “Brexit election” branding for the December poll is in breach of impartiality rules.

Sky News has been using the phrase in some of its branding around coverage of the snap general election, including in the banner that appears with guests’ names on-screen and on graphics used on TV and online.

But Labour has claimed the choice of wording gives “undue and unfair weight” to the Conservative Party’s political agenda ahead of the election.

A Labour source said: “This does the Tories’ work for them, effectively ensuring their Brexit election slogan is on-screen and all over social media all day, every day.

“It’s for voters to decide what’s important to them, and this election is about more than one issue and about the real change we need after a decade of cuts under the Tories and Lib Dems.”

As of today, Ofcom has received 125 complaints about this, which it is assessing before it decides whether to investigate.

Labour told Ofcom it has raised its complaint with senior Sky News staff “on numerous occasions”, but said it was “made clear that Sky intends to continue to use the branding”.

It therefore felt it had exhausted its opportunities to complain to the broadcaster and escalated it to the regulator.

Labour described the slogan as “unnecessary and slanted editorialising” in its complaint and claimed it breached broadcasters’ impartiality requirements for election campaign periods.

It suggested voters may find issues such as the NHS, climate or foodbanks more important than Brexit.

The party also pointed out that the slogan matches up with the name of The Brexit Party, which is itself contesting candidates in the election and has formed a pact with the Conservatives.

A spokesperson for Sky News declined to comment.

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