Below is the full text of a complaint submitted to the BBC following an item broadcast on Reporting Scotland on February 21st, 2018. The complaint relates to comments by BBC Scotland reporter Glenn Campbell who made a claim relating to Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson’s historic stance on a ‘No Deal’ Brexit.
Complaint submitted on February 21st, 2018
On an item broadcast on the 18:30 edition of Reporting Scotland on February 21st, reporter Glenn Campbell made the following statement.
“As a leading remain campaigner, Ruth Davidson stood against Brexit, and since the leave vote has cautioned against a no deal departure from the EU, where the UK would do business on World Trade Organisation, or WTO, rules.”
The statement from Glenn Campbell on Ruth Davidson’s ‘no deal’ stance since the leave vote was inaccurate. Speaking during the 2017 General Election campaign, Ruth Davidson stated clearly in a TV interview that she supported the PM’s threat to walk away from EU talks with no deal. Davidson didn’t just back the PM, she stated that a negotiator *had* to “absolutely be prepared to say that you will walk away” from EU talks with no deal. Asked what such a scenario meant, Ruth Davidson said it meant WTO accords.
The interview, conducted by Bernard Ponsonby can be viewed here.
Ruth Davidson did indeed caution against a no deal Brexit when speaking to ITV’s Robert Peston on Sunday February 18th. However this was a backtrack on her 2017 stance. The implication of Glenn Campbell’s statement is that Ruth Davidson’s ‘no deal’ stance has been consistent, when it has been anything but.
Response from the Editor of Reporting Scotland, received March 13th
You include two website clips about whose time, duration and context there is insufficient information to enable me to comment.
You did, however, correctly report Glenn Campbell’s words from the programme. He said that since the Leave vote she “has cautioned against a ‘no deal’ departure from the EU” and the BBC stands by the accuracy of that report.