BBC admits it “misquoted” FM’s HGV comments but says coverage “balanced”

The BBC has admitted it “misquoted” First Minister Nicola Sturgeon after one of its most high-profile presenters claimed the SNP leader had criticised HGV drivers following last week’s snow blizzard which left many vehicles stranded.

In a response to complaints, the BBC said it had “… unintentionally misquoted Ms Sturgeon in making reference to HGV drivers”.

The issue followed an edition of Reporting Scotland in which viewers heard presenter Jackie Bird say: “There was criticism today from the First Minister for some HGV drivers who ignored the red weather warning to stay off the roads.”

The item referred to comments made by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during that day’s FMQ’s at Holyrood.  However the First Minister had been critical, not of the HGV drivers, but of the companies that employed them.

In its response, the BBC pointed out that the programme introduction had accurately reported Nicola Sturgeon’s criticism of companies.  The broadcaster claimed overall coverage was balanced.

The full response read: “During the headlines we correctly highlighted that the First Minister accused some transport companies of sending lorries on the road for nonessential journeys despite the warnings.

“Our subsequent script unintentionally misquoted Ms Sturgeon in making reference to HGV drivers and we accept that should have been clearer. That said, our comprehensive coverage surrounding this story has been balanced for our audience.

“It included the footage of Ms Sturgeon making her comments during First Minister’s Questions so our audience could hear exactly what she had to say on the matter.”

However the claim from the BBC that Reporting Scotland included footage of Ms Sturgeon making her comments, “so our audience could hear exactly what she had to say on the matter”, is not borne out by the facts.  The clip below of Nicola Sturgeon making clear she was not criticising HGV drivers was in fact cut from the programme.

The response from the BBC is unlikely to appease the broadcaster’s Scottish critics, many of whom argue an anti-SNP agenda is at work.  That claim appeared to be bolstered on Sunday when the host of Politics Scotland, Gordon Brewer, levelled the same accusation at the First Minister the BBC has now admitted was false.

The ‘mistake’ is the latest in a string of erroneous news broadcasts from the BBC relating to Scottish politics which impact negatively on the SNP.  Previous mistakes include an Indyref pledge on Type 26 frigates, NHS Scotland A&E waiting times statistics and the M9 tragedy which has witnessed several BBC reporters falsely claim an emergency 999 call had been ignored.

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14 thoughts on “BBC admits it “misquoted” FM’s HGV comments but says coverage “balanced”

  1. Scott

    A short note are we surprised. I wait for the answer to my complaint and will Bird and Brewer be made to correct their lies on live TV.

  2. gregor

    Fake News BBC’s ‘balanced’ and ‘socially acceptable’ coverage has triggered this:

    “Any chance of coming across like she gives a flying fuk she will. Thanking someone who was doing their duty in the snow but what about the drivers she lambasted for doing their duty & being caught out in the snow? Shes a runt & an embarrassment to my Bonnie Scotland.”

    https://twitter.com/bigspender1872/status/970645117215346691

    1. Robert Graham

      Got lost on the way to the Scotsman gregor yer precious union is ending live with it , the English dont want you and your stupid forelock tugging house Jocks .They will treat you the same as everyone else here they dont care , haven’t you noticed yet .

      1. grizebard

        Close reading, RG. Gregor was giving some evidence of what the skewed BBC coverage was encouraging, not subscribing to it. Duh!

    2. Roy Moore

      The whole point is she DID NOT “lambast” the drivers. It’s you that’s embarassing yourself here. As for politcians thanking people for the work they do, well, they ALL do that. May does it weekin week out.

  3. Clydebuilt

    They have used this tactic before. . . . That is when they choice To admit a “mistake” was made.

  4. Clydebuilt

    O/T. Last night there was a Sky News poll . . . Who is the most influential female in the UK . . . . First time I looked at it managed to see that

    1. Nicola Sturgeon. 43,000
    2. Queen. 23,000
    3. Mhari Black. 22,000

    I couldn’t get to vote so tried reloading the web page ( several times, cleared out cookies) didn’t get to see the above results again. A friend tried it on their computer same result.

  5. John Robert Bruce

    Typical of the westmonster bbc doing whst they do best helping to keep Scotland down.
    And they wonder why people are leaving the bbc via license fees by their thousands .

    Thats great as that is where to hurt them in the pocket .

  6. Proud Cybernat

    All about undermining and overthrowing the democratically elected government of Scotland. That’s their game and they’re not about to let up any time soon. Wakey, wakey Scotland. #RegimeChange.

  7. Lochside

    The BBC remains the roadblock to Independence. Defeat it and expose it as the lying mouthpiece for the British State and we can win with a majority that is unchallengeable. This site is the only one that understands this and continues the onslaught on the rotten edifice of lies and disinformation.

    Yet the political clout that is required to bring the BBC to book…the SNP…refuse to do anything about it, bar feeble tweets bleating about the distortion of reality in our benighted colony. Because of the febrile SNP, we the electorate of Scotland have been abandoned despite voting them into majority in both Hollyrood and Westminster to do just that.

    It is almost too late…people are turning their backs in frustratiion and impotence at the weak and pathetic supinity of the supposed ‘party that stands up for Scotland’ . The ‘Continuity Bill’ is an empty gesture. Westminster is gearing up to close down Holyrood and the Welsh Assembly. Stormont and the DUP will willingly lie down. Any resistance, civil or political will be crushed a la Catalonia. And who will intervene?…the EU?..Not for an internal constitutional issue they won’t. And as for the people who believe that the sovereignty of the Scottish people lasts forever because of a medieval Declaration…then cold reality will kick in when they realise that the Parliament in Westminster will act unilaterally. In the words of Thomas Hobbes, the English political theorist, Thus, in law “when nothing else turns up clubs are trumps.”

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