Scottish Secretary David Mundell has been slammed after refusing to be interviewed by the BBC on the issue of the Brexit analysis papers.
In a tweet, Good Morning Scotland presenter Gary Robertson said: “We asked again to speak to Scottish Secretary David Mundell this morning about Brexit forecasts. He declined but you you can listen back to what he told this programme on Friday when the initial story broke here:”
The tweet contained a link to an article based on an interview Mr Mundell had previously agreed to.
The Conservative MP is facing questions over remarks he made to a Holyrood Committee in November last year when he told MSPs there was no specific Scottish breakdown with respect to UK Govt Brexit impact assessments.
However, Mr Mundell’s statement was called into question on Wednesday when official documents released by the House of Commons showed the papers did indeed contain Scotland specific analysis.
The issue prompted requests from BBC Scotland’s flagship news programme Good Morning Scotland for an interview with the Secretary of State, which was refused by Mr Mundell. According to programme host Hayley Millar, not one of Mr Mundell’s Scottish Conservative colleagues were prepared to answer questions. Conservative MSP Margaret Mitchell, who was being interviewed on another issue, fielded a brief question instead.
Responding to Mr Mundell’s refusal to be interviewed, former SNP MP John Nicolson asked: “Why is the Scottish Secretary refusing to speak to the BBC about Scotland and Brexit?”
Other users of social media were less restrained and the BBC itself came in for criticism. One tweeted: “Why is Mr Mundell not being door-stepped like Michael Matheson or Nicola Sturgeon? More double standards from
@BBCScotlandNews. Brexit’s a disaster and Mr Mundell & Ruth Davidson have to answer for their Govt’s chaotic Brexit policy.”
The refusal of the Secretary of State to agree to be interviewed is the third in recent days. Mr Mundell also refused to be interviewed on January 30th and again the following day. As can be heard below, Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard also refused to be interviewed.
The refusal of senior Scottish Conservatives to face questions on awkward issues has prompted criticism of BBC Scotland, with critics accusing the broadcaster of failing to pursue Scottish Conservatives and their leader Ruth Davidson with anything like the zeal it pursues SNP figures. Davidson herself has refused to be questioned on a range of issues as can be heard below.
It is not known if BBC Scotland has any plans to pursue Mr Mundell or his leader Ruth Davidson over the issue of the Brexit analysis.
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