A presenter of BBC Scotland’s flagship morning news programme has come under fire on social media after appearing to lose control whilst interviewing a Scottish government minister.
Gillian Marles was questioning SNP MSP Jamie Hepburn about Scottish government support for Glenrothes based Raytheon Systems. The interview followed the resurrection of an anti-SNP smear allegation in a Sunday newspaper.
According to the Sunday Mail, the Scottish government wanted to keep a meeting between a minister and Raytheon “under wraps”. The newspaper article also contained allegations from Scottish Labour MSP Neil Findlay who said: “This is yet another example of the SNP’s secretive practices in government.”
The Scottish government was also accused of hypocrisy by Scottish Labour for opposing the bombing of civilians in Yemen whilst Scottish Enterprise gave grants to Raytheon.
The smear story was picked up by pro-Union broadcaster BBC Scotland who invited Scottish government minister Jamie Hepburn to answer questions on the flagship radio programme Good Morning Scotland. However, the interview quickly descended into an embarrassing farce as presenter Gillian Marles became increasingly frustrated.
The extraordinary exchange prompted fury on social media with scores of people accusing Marles of having lost control.
One poster said: “illian Marles in a car crash interview there – but, but, but…butting her head against her own BBC bias windscreen.”
Another added: “That was bad. Possibly the worst BBC interview I’ve heard. Embarrassing to hear. We deserve better, and Jamie Hepburn deserves congratulations for coping so well.”
According to the SNP, grants paid to Raytheon by Scottish enterprise are intended to help the company diversify into non-military areas. Documents uncovered by Indyref2 appear to back up this claim.
Despite highlighting SNP involvement with Raytheon Systems, BBC Scotland declined to highlight Labour’s involvement with the company which manufactures the Paveway missiles. Raytheon is a former donor to both the Scottish Labour party and its UK parent party.
The Paveway missile system was awarded to Rytheon’s Glenrothes plant in 2003 when Labour was in government in both Scotland and the UK. Whilst the bomb’s advance guidance device was to be made by Raytheon Systems Limited (RSL), the fail-safe fuse mechanism was built by Thales Missile Electronics at Basingstoke.
In September last year former Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont lodged a motion praising Thales and wishing it continued success.
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