BBC Scotland’s Political Editor claims SNP “orchestrated” Commons walkout

BBC Scotland’s Political Editor has claimed the SNP “orchestrated” the walkout that saw every SNP MP leave the House of Commons on Wednesday in protest after their group leader Ian Blackford was expelled.

Speaking on BBC Scotland’s flagship morning news programme Good Morning Scotland, Brian Taylor said: “Was this orchestrated by the SNP? Of course it was, for goodness sake of course it was.”

Taylor added: “Are they exploiting this for all they can? Yes they are.”


Taylor’s suggestion, that the walkout was pre-planned, was echoed by his BBC colleague Norman Smith who described the walkout as a “stunt”.


The claims from both BBC reporters follow a similar accusation made yesterday by the BBC’s Political Editor who accused the SNP of having planned the walkout in advance.  Laura Kuenssberg made the claim in a message posted on social media.

The BBC correspondent said: “Pretty clear SNP walkout was part of planned campaign effort – fair enough but not exactly an impromptu event”

Keunssberg’s claim was based on an email circulated by the SNP that same day.  Following the BBC reporter’s tweet several people, including SNP MSP Christina McKelvie, pointed out that the email had been sent out hours after the walkout had taken place.

Claims that the SNP planned the walkout as a pre-planned stunt have been made by a string of Unionist politicians.

Shortly after the walkout Ruth Davidson posted a tweet showing a document she implied was proof that the walkout had been pre-planned.

However the document cited by Davidson as proof that the walkout had been pre-planned turned out to relate to the previous day’s points of order and not the session of Prime Minister’s Questions during which the walkout had taken place.  The walkout was captured on camera by SNP MP Hannah Bardell.

The Scottish Greens backed the move by the SNP MPs.  Co-convenor Patrick Harvie tweeted: “However theatrical the SNP walk-out from #PMQs was, it’s the UK Government’s actions yesterday in tearing up the principle of devolved consent which show the real disrespect for parliamentary democracy.”

Claims by BBC reporters that the walkout was planned and an orchestrated stunt have been met with anger on social media, with many posters pointing out that the expulsion of Ian Blackford, which prompted the walkout, could have been avoided had Speaker John Bercow adhered to Commons’ rules.

According to SNP MP Douglas Chapman, the Speaker was advised by Clerks that Blackford’s request should have been granted: “Experienced Tory MP who was in earshot tells me that The Speaker was advised that the vote @IanBlackfordMP asked for was allowable within Parliamentary procedures.”

An image of the rule governing Blackford’s request for a private sitting appears to back up claims that Bercow blundered by refusing the SNP MP’s request for the House to sit in private immediately.

Following the episode the Speaker’s Office confirmed to Press & Journal journalist Jennifer McKiernan that Ian Blackford’s request for an immediate private session could have been put to the House immediately, but John Bercow ruled that it would be delayed.

Confirmation by the Speaker’s own office that Ian Blackford’s request could indeed have been granted immediately, thus avoiding any expulsion, would appear to undermine claims from Unionists and BBC reporters that the walkout was a pre-planned stunt by the SNP.

BBC Scotland reporters, including Brian Taylor, have previously claimed that there is no interest in Scotland in the Power Grab.  The station has denied complaints that it has downplayed the issue and presented it from a Westminster perspective.  However TV and Radio coverage casts doubt on BBC Scotland claims.

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9 thoughts on “BBC Scotland’s Political Editor claims SNP “orchestrated” Commons walkout

  1. Molloy Harry M

    Bbc just doing what they do. British/ English Westminster establishment. We really need an independent Scottish broadcaster

  2. CapnAndy.

    Indeed. I had the impression by his initial comments after the walkout that Brian Taylor was fairly sympathetic to Ian Blackford and the SNP team. However I guess that the word has come down the line, “This is what you’ll say” and Brian Taylor, I guess, wants to retire gracefully at a time of his choosing and not one day just disappear from our screens with no explanation.

  3. Lochside

    ‘Pre-planned stunt’?….yeah, just about every broadcast made by the Brit prop peddlers maquerading as ‘political pundits’ falls into that category. .

    Taylor, Kuenssberg, Brewer et al all sing ftom the Deep Brit State songsheet like the paid dupes and traitors that they are.
    Fake news from fake broadcasters.

    1. Ann Rayner

      Considering that not even the Speaker knew his response, the idea that this was planned is ridiculous.

  4. Hugh

    The first caller on this topic was a woman who appeared to live in Sheffield…!! who agreed that it was indeed, a stunt.. very upset she was

  5. Petra

    What a bunch of manipulative liars. They, the BBC, will be telling us next that the SNP MP’s orchestrated the actual power grab!

    I watched something quite telling on the BBC last night that I doubt Dimbleby realised would be raised and should be cause for them (and him) to hold their heads in shame.

    Near the end of Dimbleby’s QT programme a young Welsh girl stated that she hadn’t been aware of a power grab until the SNP MP’s walked out of the HoC’s. It sounded like a very serious matter. Why didn’t she know about it? Why was broadcasting not devolved to Wales? Why didn’t they have more TV / news programmes in Wales? (or words to that effect).

    Leanne Woods (who had been gagged mostly up until then) jumped in and asked if she could answer the question. She said that recent polling results indicated that the Welsh people had no idea that the Labour party was in control of education and the NHS in Wales. Findings showed that the majority thought that the Tories at Westminster were in control. She said how can a people make decisions / vote for their future when they are not acquainted with the facts? (or words to that effect).

    In other words it looks as though Welsh people continue to vote for Labour because they think the Tories are botching things up. That suits Westminster and the State Broadcaster. The Welsh, mushrooms like the Scots, being kept in the dark and fed bullsh*t.

    The SNP in the Commons – 32 minutes in.

  6. Robert Graham

    Looks like my last comment on a similar note as Petras disappeared into the Gremlin bin.

    Anyway the morning after the fiasco that led up to the stramash on Wednesday , this was ignored completely by the BBC in Scotland , and even right up to PMQs not one reference to the events the previous night not one word about something that involved everyone here ! .

    That blanket blocking of a real news story now makes people wonder What else are this lot forgetting to tell us , they could only have got away with this news manipulation if there was no other access to News other than the BBC .

    Having spent the last month or more trivialising this westminster Grab it’s now having the opposite effect people are wondering what is going on , Well done BBC .

    Someone commented on another site they said Wait Westminster will do the heavy lifting for us they cant help themselves , how true that comment was .

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