Edinburgh should host Eurovision 2023 'in solidarity with Ukraine' says city MP Christine Jardine

Edinburgh West Lib Dem MP Christine Jardine has tabled a motion in the House of Commons calling for the possibility of Edinburgh hosting next year’s Eurovision Song Contest to be explored.

By Ian Swanson
Tuesday, 28th June 2022, 5:51 pm

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Ukraine would be due to have the 2023 event after its entry by Kalush Orchestra won in Italy last month, but the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) said earlier this month it had concluded that the "security and operational guarantees" required to host the event could not be met. And it said it was in talks with the BBC to "potentially host" Eurovision in 2023.

Ms Jardine said she hoped Edinburgh could stage next year’s extravaganza “in an act of solidarity with the Ukrainian people”.

She said: “This would be a fantastic opportunity to express our support for the Ukrainian people in the face of Russian aggression.

“Of course, we want to give Ukraine every opportunity to be able to host the competition safely and with operational guarantees. However, if this not possible due to Russian occupation, then the UK must be there to offer our assistance.

“As MP for Edinburgh West, I am proud to represent a city twinned with Kyiv and I endorse exploring the potential for Edinburgh to host Eurovision 2023 and show solidarity to the people of Ukraine in their struggle for freedom.”

Her motion recognises the winner of the 2022 Eurovision was Ukraine; deplores the Russian aggression that has led to a situation where Ukraine’s capacity to hold the contest has been put into question; and notes that as runners up, the UK is a possible host should Ukraine be unable to host the contest. And it calls on the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to work with the BBC to explore the potential for Edinburgh to host the 2023 contest in solidarity with the Ukrainian people.

Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine won the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest at Turin in Italy. Picture: AP Photo/Luca Bruno.

The EBU’s decision to look for another country to host the contest was criticised by Ukraine's culture minister, Oleksandr Tkachenko, who claimed that moving Eurovision to the UK would undermine his country.

But the EBU said while it understood Ukraine’s disappointment, it had a responsibility to ensure the safety and security or everyone working and participating in the event and cited the "severe" risk of air raids and the "high" risk of mass casualties.

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