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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