Reporting Scotland has been forced into broadcasting an on-air apology after claims relating to the SNP made on the programme turned out to be false.
On Monday night’s programme, viewers heard presenter Jackie Bird say former First Minister Alex Salmond had been investigated after complaints were passed to police by the SNP.
Following news that Edinburgh Airport staff had been interviewed by police in relation to a so-called ‘incident’ involving Mr Salmond, Ms Bird said: “A police investigation into the former First Minister of Scotland was launched in September after the Scottish National Party passed two complaints of sexual harassment to the authorities.”
However the claim that the SNP had passed complaints to the police was false. The complaints had in fact been passed to Police Scotland by the Scottish Government’s civil service and not the SNP.
The blunder led to an embarrassing apology being read out by the presenter the next evening. Referring to the her claims the previous evening that the SNP had passed complaints to police, Ms Bird said: “This part of the story was incorrect. The complaints were made to the Scottish Government, not to the SNP, we apologise for this error.”
The on-air apology follows a similar apology in August this year after the BBC broadcast false claims in relation to the GERS report, which covers Scotland’s finances. The BBC had claimed the Scottish Government spent £13.5 billion more than it raised. The claim was false.
Despite mounting evidence to the contrary, BBC Scotland insists its political output is not biased against the SNP or independence and is in fact fair and impartial.