BBC admits ‘Indyref Frigates’ bulletins were false

eight-frigatesThe BBC has admitted broadcasting false information relating to promises made by the UK government during the independence referendum.

The admission follows news reports earlier this month relating to defence contracts for Clydeside shipyards.

Two weeks ago on November 4th the broadcaster ran several news reports in which it claimed that, prior to the 2014 Indyref, the UK government had pledged to build eight Type 26 Frigates at Yards on the Clyde.

The reports coincided with an announcement from the UK government that same day confirming its intention to go ahead with an order for eight frigates.

However, a complaint to the BBC from a licence payer pointed out that the Indyref pledge by the UK government was not for eight frigates, but for thirteen.  The complaint referenced several news bulletins that were broadcast on the flagship morning news programme Good Morning Scotland.

Listeners to the programme heard presenters Gary Robertson and Hayley Millar claim a UK government indyref pledge to build eight Type 26 frigates was about to be honoured.


The story featured widely across BBC Scotland news platforms that day and was a major item on that evening’s Reporting Scotland.  However following the complaint, the BBC has been forced to admit the ‘eight frigate’ claim was false.

The BBC issued a response to the complainant which read:

“We regret that on this occasion the information regarding the Type 26 Frigates was incorrect and we are sorry we fell short of the usual standards you would expect from our output.

“Please be assured your comments have been fed back to the Radio Scotland news production team.”

frigatesCommenting on the admission by the BBC, the licence payer who submitted the complaint said:

“Shipbuilding was one of the key issues of the independence referendum as was the pledge to build thirteen Type 26 Frigates.

“For BBC Scotland to repeatedly broadcast news bulletins claiming the pledge was for only eight frigates beggars belief.

“That the inaccurate news reports were broadcast on the same day that the UK government confirmed its intention to build eight frigates means that the public has now been misled into believing an independence pledge has been honoured when in fact it has been broken.

“BBC Scotland management should ensure corrections, together with an appropriate apology, are broadcast by the Good Morning Scotland team in the same time-slots in which the false broadcasts themselves were broadcast.”

The admission is embarrassing for the broadcaster and follows a continued erosion of trust in its handling of political news in Scotland.  This site understands that another complaint, relating to an item broadcast by Reporting Scotland during the Holyrood election campaign, is currently being investigated by the BBC Trust.  A decision is expected in December.

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18 thoughts on “BBC admits ‘Indyref Frigates’ bulletins were false

  1. Clydebuilt

    Is it not true that no contract has been signed. All that has been agreed upon is a Memorandum of understanding.

  2. David McCann

    Complaing to the BBC can be a disappointing experience, but I have to say that the best outlet is the excellent BBC Newswatch, which regularly takes programmes and presenters to task.
    Worth giving it a try?

  3. Sandy

    It’s wrong of them too, to say that they ‘fell short of the usual standards you would expect from our output’. They lived down to exactly the sort of poor standards that we have come to expect from their dishonest, biased output.

  4. Dan

    BBC Scotland’s utterly self- serving agenda does Scotland a disservice. Preserving the status quo is their prime-directive – as long as this continues, this organisation is doing it’s job.

  5. Dan Huil

    Well done to the person who brought the complaint. I fear, however, the bbc will continue to deliberately mislead the people of Scotland

  6. Dr Jim

    But was it a political lie or a personal lie or a self talking lie
    maybe we should ask Alistair Carmichael which kind of lie the Joseph Rowntree organisation considers the right one and they could pay the legal expences for a court case

    Personally I think it was a British Nationalist lie and as we all know they’re above the law
    Just like the BBC

    1. Robert J. Sutherland

      Get it right. It’s not the “Joseph Rowntree organisation”, which doesn’t exist. It’s the “Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust”, which is basically a LibDem front & funding operation.

      Most definitely not to be confused with the “Joseph Rowntree Foundation”, which is a respected charity that had nothing whatever to do with the Liar Carmichael, and deserves our wholehearted support.

      Don’t sling mud carelessly, it can hurt people who don’t deserve it, and also undermine the cause you (and I) are espousing.

      But BBC Scotland, that’s another thing entirely. Feet of clay. I don’t know how those people can claim to be “fair & balanced” with a straight face.

  7. Bob Nugent


  8. Ghillie

    The BBC’s inaccurate reporting is quite deliberate.

    Their appologies are meaningless.

    The BBC has the power to rewrite history and use that tool continually.

    Well done to the viewer who called them out.

    Shame on the BBC. Their false veil of decency slips and slips. Increasingly,the public see the BBC and their taudry tricks exactly for what they are.

    How insulting. Just exactly how stupid do the BBC think their viewers are?

  9. Mary Goodall

    What are they going to do .when the Sovereign Country of Scotland take there Country back. From the Corrupt Westminster Government. Keep there Revenues. And close down the BBC. There Reporters and followers will have a difficult time getting a job. They will have to move to England.

  10. Alex Beveridge

    The B.B.C “regrets”. Does it heck. As has been said, this is the state broadcaster, and it’s done its job of promoting another Westminster untruth. How many people listened to the programme in comparison to the number of people who have heard of their “apology”. No, the lie is out there, and be prepared for many more in the run up to Indyref2.
    I,ve complained repeatedly to the B.B.C, yes, including Newswatch, over the years, and got much the same reply as is published above. Well done to the complainer, but I’m afraid it’s water off a ducks back to a another Westminster establishment institution, that will do, and say anything, to prevent us gaining our independence.

  11. Clydebuilt

    If a large enough portion of the population are aware of the BBC’s game, then the Corporation have lost their grip on us. After that point it doesn’t matter what they say it’s game over.

    So rather than spend energy and time complaining to an organisation that knows fine well what it’s doing. Spend that energy and time demonstrating to folk what the state broadcaster is up to.

    Thanks to GAP and Retd. Prof. John Robertson (Thought Control Scotland) we have no shortage of examples.

  12. David Robertson

    We, and by that I mean any objective person, who watches/listens to the BBC broadcasts are left in no doubt that it is an arm of the British state. It doesn’t even try to even make a pretence at impartiality.

    I have long since stopped listening to their lies, misinformation, and Britnat propaganda. To me the BBC Trust is a dichotomy, the sooner Scotland gets it’s own broadcaster the better.

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