BBC hits back at Scottish Tory leader for complaining broadcaster still airs Nicola Sturgeon press conferences
PUBLISHED: 09:32 06 July 2020 | UPDATED: 09:32 06 July 2020
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The BBC has hit back at calls from the leader of the Scottish Tories after he suggested the broadcaster should stop airing daily press conferences from Nicola Sturgeon.
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Jackson Carlaw claimed he was “surprised” they still carried the daily sessions with Scotland’s first minister on BBC Scotland.
Appearing on Sunday Politics Scotland, the politician was asked about Jacob Rees-Mogg’s comments in which he compared Sturgeon to Donald Trump.
BBC host Gordon Brewer said: “It’s not very helpful if the leader of the House of Commons says things like this, because it doesn’t matter what all the good work that you think you’re doing, it’s completely set aside by that.”
Carlaw replied: “I don’t disagree with you, I’ve made the point and I’ve made the point generally, I don’t single out anyone individually, I’ve made the point generally, let’s not focus on individuals, let’s focus on what is actually happening.
“And it’s all very well being good PR on a daily press conference which used to be about public health now just seems to be about general party politics, I’m surprised you still go along with it in the way that you do, Gordon.”
A tweet from MSP Murdo Fraser last week, which was retweeted by Conservative politicians, also wrote: “It’s absolute nonsense that @BBCScotlandNews are still broadcasting live every day a 30 minute Party Political Broadcast by the SNP, with no opportunity for a response by any other Party or contrary views expressed. This has to end.”
Downing Street had been holding coronavirus briefings daily, but rapidly wound them down, favouring the events for key announcements.
A spokesman for BBC hit back at the claims from Carlaw. They said: “We’re broadcasting Scottish government briefings on the pandemic and the easing of lockdown because these are matters of great public interest.”
Boris Johnson has since announced proposals for briefings from his spokespeople will be broadcast, which could end up on television, a move which mimics the White House.
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