A PETITION attacking the BBC for being biased against the Green Party in its election coverage has attracted more than 45,000 signatures.

Alan Johnson, chairman of the Green Party in Bolton, is among the thousands to support the online petition which is called “BBC News: stop this media blackout of the Green Party”.

In particular, the party, which has one MP, was angry at the “disproportionate” coverage given to UKIP.

Mr Johnson attacked the corporation for including the Greens in the “others” category when displaying results.

But Joan Johnson, chairman of UKIP’s Bolton branch, said the coverage reflected UKIP’s growing momentum and accused the Greens of failing to capture the public imagination.

A BBC spokesman said its coverage had been consistent with guidelines on “fairness and impartiality”.

Mr Johnson said: “The Green Party actually beat the Lib Dems in the European elections by a considerable margin yet leading up to the elections there was disproportionate coverage given to UKIP and little to us.

“I’m totally disgusted we were classed with the ‘others’ by the BBC, given we pulled in 1.2 million votes.

“The BBC has certainly on this occasion not been fair with its coverage.

“The BBC must take notice — it is not fair on the British electorate as they are being denied a democratic debate.” The petition points out the Green Party has three MEPs, an MP in Caroline Lucas, which is currently one more than UKIP, and 162 local councillors.

After last month’s elections, it now forms the official opposition on councils in Liverpool, Solihull and Norwich.

UKIP, however, won the European Elections with a total of 24 MEPs and 27.49 per cent of the vote, while the Greens finished fourth with 7.87 per cent.

UKIP also won two councillors in Bolton, the party’s first in the town, and finished second in 13 other wards while the Greens still have no councillors here.

Mrs Johnson said: “I think it is fair to say UKIP did get a lot of coverage but I think that is because of the way momentum behind UKIP was growing.

“I think the Green Party is lagging behind in its popularity to be honest.

“I’m all for certain green issues but I don’t think it is a party that has captured the imagination and support of people generally. That is how I would see it.”

A BBC spokesman added: “Our coverage of all parties in the local and European elections has been proportionate and consistent with our guidelines on fairness and impartiality.”

You can see and sign the petition here.