Updated: PBS says it is considering the BA's 'recommendation'
Public Broadcasting Services said this evening it is considering a 'recommendation' by the Broadcasting Authority to postpone this evening's Dissett to January 5 and include in the programme PN deputy leader Simon Busuttil.
This evening's programme was planned to feature PL deputy leader Louis Grech.
But the PN yesterday accused PBS of adhering to the whims of the Labour Party by not inviting Dr Busuttil to the debate with Dr Grech and requested an urgent BA decision.
In its reply, PBS said Dr Busuttil would be invited for a programme on his own at a later stage.
In a statement this afternoon, the BA said it met this morning to consider the PN’s request.
It said it reached its decision after listening to the PN’s and PBS’ arguments and after it took into consideration communication it received from the Labour Party.
It said that in the circumstances it had to recommend the inclusion of Dr Busuttil in the programme which should be postponed to January 5.
In a statement later today, PBS said it noted that the BA had issued a recommendation and not a directive. This showed that the BA acknowledged that programme subjects and dates were the responsibility of PBS and should not be drawn up simply because of an agreement between the political parties.
PBS said that its editorial board would be discussing and deciding upon the BA's recommendation. It noted that from before it was known who the new PL deputy leader would be, it had already scheduled a debate between the two deputy leaders for January 11 on Xarabank and the two parties had been informed of this decision.This programme, it said, would be held as planned and there was also the possibility that, in future, both Dr Busuttil and Mr Grech would be invited to other programmes together or on their own.
In a statement issued after the BA published its decision, the PN accused the PL of avoiding today’s debate between the two deputy leaders by arguing with the authority that it did not want the debate with Dr Busuttil today, it being the festive season.
The PN said that the PL had not objected to the programme as long as Mr Grech was being interviewed on his own but it objected following the PN's request for the inclusion of Dr Busuttil.
This, the PN said, showed how unprepared Labour was to debate topics of national importance.
On the other hand, the PL welcomed the BA’s decision which, it said, reflected its request.
It said that it had wanted Dr Busuttil to be included in the programme from as soon as it received the invitation from PBS.
The PL published its letter to the Broadcasting Authority, which can be read in the pdf link below.