Health Board writes to Labour MSP Marra over ‘categorically untrue’ allegations

A Scottish Health Board has written to a Scottish Labour MSP with details of its former chief’s severance package after the MSP claimed it had paid out over £300,000.

The letter by NHS Tayside came one day after it described the claim by Labour MSP Jenny Marra as “categorically untrue”.

In a statement, the Health board confirmed that its chairman, John Brown, has now written to Ms Marra with details of the payments made to Lesley McLay.

It stated: “NHS Tayside Chairman John Brown has today written to Jenny Marra in her capacity as Convener of the Public Audit and Post-legislative Scrutiny Committee to provide details of the payments issued to former Chief Executive Ms Lesley McLay on the termination of her employment at the Board.

“As stated on Monday, 6 August, the payments are legal and contractual entitlements and no additional payments have or will be made by NHS Tayside.”

The claim by Marra featured prominently on BBC Scotland on Monday and was the leading story across all of its mediums – radio, online and television.  However despite NHS Tayside issuing a statement in which it described the Labour MSP’s claim as “categorically untrue”, it still led BBC Scotland’s flagship evening news programme.

The broadcast led to the Scottish Health Secretary Jeanne Freemen to issuing her own statement saying she was “shocked” at the broadcaster.

Jenny Marra’s claim featured as the number one story on Monday and took up 2 minutes 41 seconds of programme time.

News of the letter from NHS Tayside to the Scottish Labour MSP was deemed worthy of eleventh place and a mere 27 seconds the next day.

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15 thoughts on “Health Board writes to Labour MSP Marra over ‘categorically untrue’ allegations

  1. Robert Graham

    I just received a response to my complaint from the BBC regarding this story, they’re looking for more information in order to proceed further, URL exact time etc they really do take the piss don’t they, asking me for the information they currently hold on the current story on their website , I must admit they take obstruction to the nth degree , professional bloody bull shitters that the North Koreans could learn from .

    1. John

      Keep going Robert , they do this to put you off , they of course know the URL, the time , who presented it , and who had a smirk on her face when she also said three times on the same newscast that exam result were down , ( 0.02% ) for two years in a row , but *forgot * to mention University admissions and higher maths passes were up ! .

      1. Robert Graham

        John well i did follow it up again and saved the complaint screen just in case ha ha , it is this daily negative drip drip drip that a lot of folk are absorbing its a hard nut to crack .

    2. The Equaliser #ScotlandCan (@ScotWedPhotos)

      From personal experience, this is exactly what they do, in the event that you refer your complaint to Ofcom, they will start the same process from the start and you’ll be right back where you started – Both organisations are full of Tories and both are completely corrupt

  2. Jack whelan

    I think the time has come to arrange a march to the BBC again with numbers that will make them sit up and take notice They don’t pay one jot of attention to all the crap they are showwing and lying about simply because they know they are fighting for their jobs And integrity is not i their character . Believe me this is a fight to the end for the BBC and they know it and nothing in all probability not even a march will stop them as they know they can’t be on the losing side.

  3. Independent Woman

    The BBC ceertainly do not make it easy to complain. They also tend to be dismissive when they reply to complaints. I keep sending in complaints despite this because at least it signals that they are not fooling everybody and it takes up their time dealing with the complaint.

    I will be at the demonstration on Saturday 18th August at Pacific Quay. We need to keep up the pressure on the BBC. I think they are a lost cause but we if we can draw attention to their behaviour then it might get through to a few more people of what is being done by the BBC in attempting to manipulate news.

    1. Robert Graham

      Independent Woman Totally agree it’s a long drawn out mind numbing exercise , despite having a case number you still have to negotiate the full complaint procedure and actually make the same complaint yet again , just as a precaution i took a screen capture of the whole thing .

      Agree with the go for the BBC line, they should be the target for the Scottish Government as well , half of scotland know what is going on and the SNP need to join in ,this is not a conspiracy theory or some separatists nutjobs gripe as unionists would have everyone believe, its been proven time and again by this site Indyref2 .

  4. Big Jock

    After the Wings You Tube fiasco. It’s now entirely clear that the BBC are releasing press releases for the Tories and the Labour party. They don’t need to employ journalists, when they are being fed opinions and lies from the opposition.

    So news gathering for the BBC is now a defunct function. The news comes via their chums in all the unionist parties. It goes out un-checked. When it turns out to be lies they just move onto the next lie.

    No real point in complaining because they know what they are doing and it’s deliberate. It’s like pointing out to the Devil that he is a bad man. His answer is, so what!

    1. Robert Graham

      Big Jock you are probably right but as independent woman pointed out it might just add to their workload and someone might just get the message , they cant all be rabid unionists .

      What might help is if everyone joined in just like the planned protests outside Pacific Heights ,people notice and the more the merrier , other news organisations would probably like a pop at the BBC as well if you dont try nobody will notice you haven’t tried .

  5. gregor

    Professional journalists (especially flagship national service broadcasters with high social-responsibility) are supposed to have high/elemental ethics and standards, and perform due diligence.

    BBC fails miserably on all accounts.

  6. Jason Smoothpiece

    Britain Nationalist Broadcasters anti Scottish reporting, its now almost funny and always expected

  7. Brian Powell

    The BBC and Labour found to be lying, no surprise. But as someone pointed out, Jenny Marra, when she stood for election was beaten by 9,000 votes, so firmly rejected as fit for office, but there she is with £70,000 year and a pension and is chair of of a committee.
    Maybe she should give it all up.

  8. Jockanese Wind Talker

    Link to Saturdays protest march:

    (Don’t know why it is so long a link though).

  9. Alasdair Macdonald

    For several days now, the BBC site has highlighted the £90k figure with little contextual information. It has a quote from a Labour ‘spokesperson’ that this is a ridiculous sum to be paying someone whose (alleged – my word) incompetence has led to the problems of NHS Tayside.

    Currently there is an investigation to seek to uncover the reasons for the problems, so the former Chief Executive has not yet been deemed culpable. Secondly, the £90k is part of the contract which was agreed between her and the Health Board when she took up post. Not to pay it could lead to an action against the Board which would be much more expensive than even Ms Marra’s mendacious allegation.

    Some years ago following a child abuse scandal in England, the Minister, Mr Ed Balls, seeking popular support for ‘tough’ action dismissed the Director of Social Work, who then sued and won her case. There might well have been elements of culpability in her carrying out of her duties in relation to the case, but she, like everyone else, was entitled to ‘due process’.

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