SNP label Salmond BBC ban "bonkers"

Commenting on the story in the Scottish Sun that the BBC’s Chief Political Adviser in London cancelled an arranged appearance by First Minister Alex Salmond on BBC network’s build-up coverage for the Scotland-England Calcutta Cup rugby match, because of “the nature of political debate around Scotland’s future and the proximity of local government election”, SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson MP said:

“This ban on Scotland’s First Minister by the BBC’s chief political adviser in London is bonkers.  He has overruled his own editors and journalists in the manner you’d expect in a banana republic.

“The excuse about the local elections makes absolutely no sense – they don’t take place in Scotland until May, another three months!

“The serious issue here is the BBC’s excuse about the ‘political debate around Scotland’s future’ – which will be underway for the next two-and-a-half years.  Are they suggesting that Scotland’s First Minister is to be banned from ‘business as usual’ programming by the BBC’s political bosses in London until 2014?

“And does this political ban from BBC coverage apply to David Cameron during the London Olympics this year, for example?

“The BBC is Scotland’s national broadcaster, and these are serious questions which raise important issues about the BBC’s coverage of the referendum – which must be fair, impartial and consistent to all participants, and at all times.

“The concern is that these decisions are being taken by the BBC’s political bosses in London in a high-handed, ad-hoc manner – and that is in the interests of no-one in Scotland.”

Note: The story can be accessed here: