BBC Scotland has launched what appears to be a counter offensive after a pro-independence campaign group declared victory in a stand-off with an unelected quango.
Earlier this afternoon the pro-Yes ‘All Under One Banner’ [AUOB] group declared victory after Historic Environment Scotland [HES] sought to ban tens of thousands of marchers from congregating on public land administered by the quango.
In a tweet posted after a meeting with officials from Edinburgh council, Police Scotland and HES, AUOB wrote: “#AUOB are victorious! We have just left a lengthy meeting with Edinburgh council, Police Scotland and Historic Environment Scotland where an executive call was made by Police to facilitate our Rally at Holyrood park in the interests of H & S and public order.”
The effective overturning of the ban followed a stand-off between the pro-indy group and the quango after HES insisted marchers could not use Holyrood Park because the rally was political. HES insists no political events can be held in property or land it administers.
However critics have pointed to several political events held in buildings administered by HES, including a pro-independence event in Edinburgh castle during the independence referendum campaign and a pro-Union event held by David Mundell’s Scotland Office.
Following news of the AUOB victory, BBC Scotland published what appeared to be a spoiler article on its main Scottish news website.
The article was headlined Indyref2 rally ban ‘remains in force’ and began: “A ban on independence supporters holding a mass rally in Holyrood Park in Edinburgh remains in force, Historic Environment Scotland has insisted.”
The article from the pro-Union broadcaster added: “The park, which sits next to the Scottish Parliament building, is managed by the public body.
“The clarification was issued after All Under Banner claimed that they had been “victorious” in their campaign to have the ban overturned.”
The BBC article prompted fears that some people may be misled into believing the Holyrood rally ban would be enforced and decide not to attend. However commentators on social media rubbished the idea.
Responding to the BBC Scotland article, one user of social media said: “I seriously doubt anyone who is up for this is paying much attention to the BBC.”
Another added: “I know people who are going because HES has pissed them off. See you there 🙂”
Organisers expect over 50,000 people to attend the march and rally.
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