Questions after BBC Scotland pulls ‘anti-Sturgeon interview’ programme from iPlayer

BBC Scotland chiefs are facing questions after a radio programme containing a controversial interview, which was used to attack Nicola Sturgeon, was pulled from iPlayer.

The programme, Good Morning Scotland, was broadcast last Sunday July 15th.  It contained a controversial interview conducted by a freelance journalist with an academic who had led a study into Scotland’s NHS thirteen years ago.

The interview witnessed journalist Pennie Taylor question Professor David Kerr on his report into the Scottish NHS, published in 2005.  The academic was chair of the National Framework Advisory Group set up by the then Labour led administration at Holyrood

The interview fuelled news bulletins that witnessed SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon attacked over decisions taken eleven years ago when the then First Minister was Health Secretary.


Indyref2 has now learned that the programme on which the interview was broadcast has been pulled from iPlayer.  Following an inquiry over the missing programme, the corporation would only say it was ‘required’ to be removed.

“This content was required to be removed. This means it is unavailable to stream and download.”

The news bulletins prompted criticism of the broadcaster on social media with many people pointing out Ms Taylor’s own links to Professor Kerr’s study.  The journalist assisted the National Framework Advisory Group chaired by the academic, facilitating local meetings and helping with newsletters as part of its communications team.

It also emerged that the academic being interviewed, Professor David Kerr, had already issued strongly worded criticisms of the SNP’s A&E policy in 2007.  In 2007, months after the SNP took office for the first time, he attacked the saving of A&E departments, describing the decision as “emotional and irrational”.

Professor Kerr had also previously campaigned for Labour in the 2001 general election before praising Tory health plans in 2010.  The academic told The Times newspaper: “[The Tories] are more committed to the NHS that we love and understand as free at the point of access and offering universal care. Only that degree of certainty would convince me to go and work for them.”

Indyref2 understands that the interview and subsequent news bulletins will be the subject of a complaint by a listener who listened to the programme when it was broadcast.

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6 thoughts on “Questions after BBC Scotland pulls ‘anti-Sturgeon interview’ programme from iPlayer

  1. John

    They have pulled it because they don’t want anyone else to listen to the bias that is stamped all over it now that they have had a complaint sent in . BBC SCOTLAND have already been rapped over the knuckles by the moderator for bias .
    The connivance of the BBC to put out a program with unionist Professor David Kerr whose study is years out of date , and has been discredited in areas for trying to close A&E departments , and Pennie Taylor , an ex – BBC SCOTLAND Health Correspondent , who always thought any improvements the SNP made to the health service were just another SNP baad story , could only ever have been designed to be a ‘ Nicola Sturgeon baad ‘ program as she was the Health Minister who did not follow Kerr’s suggestions .
    Day by day , we , the people , are calling the BBC in Scotland out , more and more of us are complaining to them , no matter how difficult they try to make that process !

  2. Robert Graham

    The BBC in Scotlands misjudged decision to Air this way over the top hatchet job that was ridiculed by lots of people because it was so out of date and the points raised have long since been remedied or no longer apply

    it wasn’t an informative item it was just a spiteful attempt at a attack on the first minister ,
    The BBC in Scotland seem to be afflicted with the same strain of spiteful behaviour as the Tory party in Scotland who continue to produce totally distorted rubbish that borders on the childish ,their claims are easily shown to be rubbish but manage to hit the front pages of compliant Unionist supporting papers and media, they are getting away with this fraud constantly simply because all the media support the Union so no questions asked, just carry on we are with you so anything goes.

  3. Brian McGowan

    BBC Scotland : Unaccountable and irresponsible. A toxic combination.
    Great to hear someone has complained here, and I look forward to hearing the response. But the real answer is to remove ourselves from this union.

  4. millie

    This is how it displays on iPlayer –

    Could its unavailability be due to the fact that at the end of the interview (from my recollection), the professor was asked about the condition of the NHS in Scotland at the end of Scottish Labour’s tenure – and replied that it was in CHAOS?

  5. Lochside

    It’s been removed because it was so over the top and too ludicrously biased even for the Propaganda Palace on Pacific Quay to allow to remain accessible to the general public.
    Vicious ‘ex BBC’ employees like Pennie Taylor and Ruth Davidson are allowed unlimited and unabridged ad hoc attacks on the SNP and NS whenever they feel like it.

    Any independent media watchdog’s scrutiny of the BBC propaganda unit in Scotland would shut it down as beyond parody in its relentless anti Scottish Government bias. The anglicisation of the ‘service’ grows apace with resident expert English mouthpieces like Taylor, and Kerr talking down to the colonial serfs wo are dumb and self loathing enough to suck up their guff.

    Keep up the good work Indyref2…if it was left to the gutless SNP media unit,…well have they complained yet?

  6. millie

    I don’t know if people are aware that the Professor Kerr interview is now available.

    I am unable to listen to the recording as I don’t have an online account with BBC.

    If anyone is listening to this interview, ‘please’ check at the end of the piece, where (from my recollection) the Professor said that NHS Scotland was in CHAOS at the end of Scottish Labour’s tenure at Holyrood. Please check if this has been edited out.

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