BBC Trust rejects complaint over not playing ‘Ding Dong!…’ following Margaret Thatcher’s death

The 'Wizard Of Oz' track went into the Official UK Singles Chart at Number Two following the death of the former PM

The BBC Trust has rejected a complaint received over not playing ‘Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead’ following Margaret Thatcher’s death.

In April of this year the song went to Number Two in the Official UK Singles Chart, following the passing of the former UK Prime Minister and a social media campaign. However, it was not played in full on Radio 1’s Official Chart Show. Instead the station linked to a news report and short clips of the track were played.

A complaint was received over the BBC’s action from a member of the public, who said that the fact that the station refused to play the song compromised the chart’s integrity and was “a breach of the requirement for impartiality”. They added that the song should have been played in full as it “was not political, did not contain a political message and did not refer to any individual” and therefore would not have caused offence, reports BBC Newsbeat.

However, the BBC Trust’s Editorial Standards Committee has disagreed, saying the song was a “celebration of death” They stated that the “song had become linked with a campaign in the wake of Lady Thatcher’s death to display opposition to her premiership and did have the capacity to cause offence because it had been widely publicised as being a way of giving voice to anti-Thatcher feelings… aside from whether or not people had bought the song in order to express anti-Thatcher political sentiments, which listeners may or may not agree with, the song in question was clearly a celebration of a death”.

At the time Radio 1 controller Ben Cooper said that a compromise had to be made, stating: “It is a compromise and it is a difficult compromise to come to because you have very difficult and emotional arguments on both sides of the fence and let’s not forget you also have a family that is grieving for a loved one who has yet to be buried.”