The BBC has admitted broadcasting false information relating to promises made by the UK government during the independence referendum.
The admission follows news reports earlier this month relating to defence contracts for Clydeside shipyards.
Two weeks ago on November 4th the broadcaster ran several news reports in which it claimed that, prior to the 2014 Indyref, the UK government had pledged to build eight Type 26 Frigates at Yards on the Clyde.
The reports coincided with an announcement from the UK government that same day confirming its intention to go ahead with an order for eight frigates.
However, a complaint to the BBC from a licence payer pointed out that the Indyref pledge by the UK government was not for eight frigates, but for thirteen. The complaint referenced several news bulletins that were broadcast on the flagship morning news programme Good Morning Scotland.
Listeners to the programme heard presenters Gary Robertson and Hayley Millar claim a UK government indyref pledge to build eight Type 26 frigates was about to be honoured.
The story featured widely across BBC Scotland news platforms that day and was a major item on that evening’s Reporting Scotland. However following the complaint, the BBC has been forced to admit the ‘eight frigate’ claim was false.
The BBC issued a response to the complainant which read:
“We regret that on this occasion the information regarding the Type 26 Frigates was incorrect and we are sorry we fell short of the usual standards you would expect from our output.
“Please be assured your comments have been fed back to the Radio Scotland news production team.”
Commenting on the admission by the BBC, the licence payer who submitted the complaint said:
“Shipbuilding was one of the key issues of the independence referendum as was the pledge to build thirteen Type 26 Frigates.
“For BBC Scotland to repeatedly broadcast news bulletins claiming the pledge was for only eight frigates beggars belief.
“That the inaccurate news reports were broadcast on the same day that the UK government confirmed its intention to build eight frigates means that the public has now been misled into believing an independence pledge has been honoured when in fact it has been broken.
“BBC Scotland management should ensure corrections, together with an appropriate apology, are broadcast by the Good Morning Scotland team in the same time-slots in which the false broadcasts themselves were broadcast.”
The admission is embarrassing for the broadcaster and follows a continued erosion of trust in its handling of political news in Scotland. This site understands that another complaint, relating to an item broadcast by Reporting Scotland during the Holyrood election campaign, is currently being investigated by the BBC Trust. A decision is expected in December.