UK

BBC ‘parroting anti-independence tropes dressed up as analysis’, SNP say

THE BBC has been accused of “lazily parroting anti-independence tropes” after it reported that Labour would need to win seats in Scotland in order to take power in Westminster.

In one example, during a segment offering analysis of the Labour conference, the BBC reported: “Labour is very important for Scotland, and perhaps more importantly Scotland is very important for Labour.

“If Labour do not start recovering seats in Scotland in a big way it is very unlikely that any Labour leader is going to get into Downing Street.

READ MORE: WATCH: Nicola Sturgeon responds to Keir Starmer’s criticism of SNP government

“That was one of the lessons of the 2017 General Election – it was also one of the lessons of the 2019 General Election.”

In fact, if Labour had won every single Scottish seat in the 2019 vote, the Tories would have had 359 MPs and Labour 260, giving Boris Johnson a comfortable majority.

The BBC then reported the same line, that Scottish seats were essential to a UK Labour party victory, at least twice more across different programmes. The SNP say this was done without appropriate attributation.

The line seems to have come from the Scottish Fabians, a think tank linked to Scottish Labour, who claimed late last week that the party would need to win 25 seats north of the Border to send Keir Starmer to No10.

The SNP said it was “really concerning” that the BBC had been parroting Labour lines as analysis.

The party highlighted how it had consistently pledged not to allow the Tories to enter power in the event of a hung parliament.

Kirsten Oswald MP, the SNP’s deputy leader at Westminster, told The National: “The BBC continually repeating a pro-Union and Labour line as ‘analysis’ is really concerning.

“It’s hard to imagine the SNP being afforded the same complimentary editorial treatment during conference.

“The arithmetical flaw in this line has been pointed out and BBC bosses accept that this is a Labour position – yet they persist.

“Fact is Labour can win power at Westminster without a single seat in Scotland – as the SNP will never side with the Tories. And as we’ve seen so often in the past when Scotland used to vote Labour, we still get stuck with a Tory government.”

The Conservative party has not won the popular vote in Scotland since 1959.

Oswald added: “The BBC should be able to understand and incorporate these basic truths instead of lazily parroting Labour’s anti-independence tropes.”

A BBC spokesperson said: “We made every effort to be clear that this is Labour’s position. Our reporting is fair and features a range of perspectives on issues such as electoral performances by parties.”



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