BBC Scotland’s flagship news programme has refused to report an intervention by UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in the so-called ‘Power Grab’ dispute after he backed the Scottish government stance.
Mr Corbyn had been on a visit to Scotland where he was scheduled to make a speech on Royal Navy shipbuilding contracts.
However asked about the dispute between the UK and Scottish governments over the seizing of devolved powers by Westminster, the UK Labour leader came down on the side of the Scottish government.
He said: “I’m very happy that the Scottish Labour party will be voting against [the bill] because frankly there is a power grab going on by Whitehall on the EU withdrawal. What they’re doing is taking powers from Brussels that ought to go to Scotland, Wales and the regions and instead pooling them in Whitehall. That is unacceptable to us.”
The visit to Scotland by the Labour leader featured on that evening’s Reporting Scotland. However there was no mention of Mr Corbyn’s backing for the Scottish government’s Power Grab stance.
The item focused exclusively on Mr Corbyn’s speech on shipbuilding contracts.
The UK Labour leader’s backing for the Scottish government was also missing from a report later in the programme which specifically covered the Power Grab dispute. Viewers were instead presented with a ‘warning’ issued by UK Brexit Minister David Liddington.
The refusal of Reporting Scotland to cover Mr Corbyn’s highly significant intervention was in stark contrast to its Welsh counterpart. BBC Wales’ flagship evening news programme Wales Today covered the story with a studio discussion between the presenter and BBC Wales’ Political Correspondent Cemlyn Davies underlining the importance of the development.
The refusal of Reporting Scotland to cover the Corbyn intervention came despite BBC Scotland’s Westminster Correspondent Nick Eardley considering it significant enough to highlight.
The ‘news blackout’ employed by Reporting Scotland was repeated on the broadcaster’s online news site which gave significant prominence to Jeremy Corbyn’s shipbuilding speech but contained nothing on his Power Grab remarks.
The blackout was again in contrast to coverage on BBC Wales’ online where the story was placed second in order of priority.
The ‘blackout’ follows suspicions that BBC Scotland is deliberately operating a policy of downplaying the significance of the Power Grab which will see Westminster seize control of twenty four devolved powers for up to seven years.
BBC Scotland presenters and reporters have repeatedly claimed there is no public interest in the dispute that could result in major constitutional crisis. The broadcaster also insists that the Scottish government is “under pressure” to reach an agreement with its Westminster counterpart.
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