Politicians and commentators in Scotland have demanded answers from the BBC after a documentary about the Brexit vote completely ignored Scotland.
The documentary, Brexit: The Battle For Britain, was billed as an examination of the inside story of how David Cameron’s referendum plan backfired – and Vote Leave won. It asked ‘How will this political revolution reshape Britain’s politics?’
However, despite promising a UK wide examination of the EU referendum, the programme failed to make any mention of Scotland’s remain vote whatsoever. The omission prompted angry calls from Scottish politicians and leading political commentators, with MSP Kevin Stewart and broadcaster and journalists Lesley Riddoch amongst many who called for answers.
Another who questioned the programme’s geographical focus was writer and commentator Gerry Hassan. In a tweet the day after the programme aired, Hassan said the failure to include Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland was “Part of problem” at the BBC.
Claims that Scotland had been ignored resulted in a spat between journalist Michael Gray and BBC Scotland’s political correspondent Nick Eardley, with the latter challenging claims that Scotland had been ignored.
Eardley later claimed not to have been defending the programme but to have been challenging claims that the BBC ‘taken as a whole’ does not serve Scotland.
The row comes in the midst of the debate over the so-called ‘Scottish Six’ which will see national and international news being produced and edited in the BBC HQ in Glasgow for the first time ever. Unionists have criticised moves to replace the current Reporting Scotland tea-time programme with a more internationally outward looking show, claiming it will be ‘parochial’.
However one of the key arguments in favour of a Scottish Six, which is that Scotland is increasingly marginalised by a London centric news agenda, will have been bolstered by the omission of Scotland from a major BBC network programme.