A BBC Scotland reporter who only days ago refused to highlight key text of Theresa May’s Brexit agreement, that exposed the betrayal of Scotland’s fishing communities, has again come under fire.
Brian Taylor has been slammed by critics after a news report he fronted poked fun at a Scottish government press conference set up to highlight the cost of Brexit to Scotland.
The news item, which led BBC Scotland’s flagship news programme Reporting Scotland, contained just nine seconds of the First Minister talking about Brexit.
More time was allotted to members of an amateur dramatics society who were shown poking fun at the Scottish government event.
The press conference had been held to coincide with a Scottish government assessment which showed Theresa May’s Brexit deal would cost each person in Scotland £1600, compared to staying in the EU. In the event the UK government fails to negotiate a trade deal, then the cost could be higher.
The assessment shows that the deal:
- Takes Scotland out of the EU, despite a majority here voting to remain
- Removes Scotland from the European Single Market of 500 million people
- Leaves future trading arrangements uncertain for both goods and services
- Puts Scotland at a potential competitive disadvantage to Northern Ireland
- Ends free movement of people, which is vital for workers in sectors such as health and social care. Scotland’s working age population would decline by 3% without EU migration
- Appears to directly contradict the UK Government’s previous position on fisheries: that there should be no link between access to UK waters and access to EU markets
- Ends guaranteed high standards and protections that come with EU membership, including the environment, food safety, animal welfare, health and safety, equality and working conditions
- Provides no certainty about future participation in EU programmes such as Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+
However Taylor’s news report, which gave token coverage to the issues listed, began by mocking the press conference, using lengthy clips of what appeared to be pantomime actors in costume eavesdropping on the proceedings. The BBC Scotland political editor also diverted the issue away from Brexit and onto a second independence referendum.
The diversion allowed the Scottish Conservative MSP who appeared on the programme to avoid dealing with the Brexit analysis. Jackson Carlaw instead mounted an attack on the SNP and independence.
The news report is the second from Taylor inside a week that has prompted critics to question his impartiality. Last week the veteran reporter came under fire after twice refusing to highlight key text from an official document that revealed fishing access and quotas were part of Theresa May’s Brexit agreement.
This latest episode has led to strongly worded crticism from pro-independence activists on social media.
Following the news report, one tweeted: “Yep. It was set up for Jackson Carlaw to repeat the Tory line SNP want bad Brexit to further Indy, despite Nicola Sturgeon meeting other parties to discuss alternatives to Bad Brexit. This is what the Indy movement is up against.”
A second said: “My take on Brian Taylor’s recent behaviour is that he has trashed himself. It’s defiance.”
Another adopted more uncompromising language, saying: “Brian Taylor is getting away with journalistic murder in that segment, its a border line North Korean panto without widow twanky.”
Despite the clear evidence something is wrong within its News and Current Affairs Department, BBC Scotland bosses insist there is no anti-SNP agenda at the station.Views: 16734