SNP MP complains of ‘imbalance’ after being dropped from BBC News at Six

The SNP’s Defence spokesperson at Westminster has complained after being dropped from the BBC’s News at Six.

Stewart McDonald had been asked by the BBC to film clips for Thursday evening’s programme, which was covering the possibility of UK intervention in Syria.  The MP had been promised his input would be used on both the News at Six and the News at Ten.

However when the News at Six aired, the contribution from the SNP MP was nowhere to be seen.  Instead viewers were treated to clips of two Conservative MPs, two Labour MPs and one Lib Dem MP.

An angry Mr McDonald [pictured] tweeted: “I was asked by the BBC to do clips for the 6pm news. I changed my schedule & recorded them outside Pacific Quay. Not used and instead 2 Conservatives, 2 Labour & 1 Lid Dem used. Media is the only forum we have without recall of Parliament so vital the media plays its role.”

The MP added: “This isn’t about me, and I’m not one to normally criticise how the BBC does its job, but without parliament being recalled then the media is the only major public platform that political parties have as the government considers military action. This needs to be realised.”

The MP’s public complaint prompted a response from the BBC’s Westminster Editor, Katy Searle who said: “As planned – the SNP will be in the Ten.”

However MP Mr McDonald challenged the claim whilst pointing out the lack of balance in the item that aired: “6pm and 10pm is what I was told. I don’t want to string this out, but it is frustrating that there was such an imbalance when I recorded the material.”

The issue witnessed at least one colleague of McDonald air her own dissatisfaction with the BBC.  SNP MP Joanna Cherry QC tweeted: “Hey @BBCNews & @JPonpolitics #Syria a really important issue @theSNP have a clear policy on need to avoid rush to action & requirement for a parliamentary vote FYI we’re the 3rd party not Lib Dem so why no mention of us in your report?”

Despite being the third largest party at Westminster, the SNP is regularly ignored in favour of smaller parties on BBC UK news and current affairs programmes.  The clip below, which is from BBC News the day Theresa May toured the UK, has input from May herself as well as Labour, the Lib Dems and ex-UKIP leader Nigel Farage.  The SNP were ignored.

Labour peer Lord Andrew Adonis recently complained that Farage had been a guest on the BBC’s Question Time programme no fewer than thirty two times – despite his party only ever having one MP.

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11 thoughts on “SNP MP complains of ‘imbalance’ after being dropped from BBC News at Six

  1. john

    Nothing changes , the BBC is the state broadcaster , it only ever airs anything that basically agrees with the Tory’s , any dissenting voices will be edited out . SNP MP’s should save their breath and go to other broadcasters only , RT perhaps .

  2. Cubby

    McDonald says “I am not one to normally complain about the BBC”

    Well you bloody well should be. Get a grip SNP politicians. The BBC is a UK state propaganda channel. You should be complaining all the time. All the evidence is there and has been for years that shows the disgraceful BBC propaganda lies and deceit.

  3. Clydebuilt

    Herald Online Poll

    95% opposed to UK involvement in a military strike on Syria

    4785 people took part

    Hidden away in an article on page 7 , 13/4/2018


    What on earth are we doing there anyway. We have a large majority of Scotlands MP’s FFS I’ve thought since the English EVEL humiliation they should have left Westminster for Edinburgh. Set up a repeal of the Act of Union and take it from there. We are two very different nations these days Scotland and England and its high time our relationship reflected that.

  5. James double

    Wake up Scotland do you not see yet that the only voice that represents our people is the voice of our elected parliament the U.K. Is dominated by the London parliament what they say goes it doesn’t have to be that way we the rest of this UK want our say on what we the people and there families think of the serious situation in Syria

  6. Lochside

    I have lost all confidence in the SNP. They have thrown away every democratic advantage handed to them by the Scottish Electorate, evincing weak kneed cowardice in the face of disgraceful anti-democratic disdain by the English government. The Act of Union was cancelled when EVEL was introduced and consigned to the dustbin of history when our vote to stay in the EU was and continues to be ignored. Yet the SNP dribble on about single market ‘demands’ when that that particular ship has long been torpedoed never mind sailed.

  7. grizebard

    As it happens, I don’t agree with the SNP’s take on these latest air strikes on Syria. It’s all very well wringing hands from the sidelines and invoking a hamstrung UN, but somebody had to do something or before long we’ll have poison gas being used in conflicts all over the world. Given the malign actors who are now in positions of power all over, neo-pacifism is arguably as dangerous to the world now as it was in the 1930s.

    That having been said, it is the SNP’s fundamental right to have their view placed before the public via publicly-funded media like the BBC, and in a position of prominence befitting their numbers in the House of Commons. That’s what democracy is all about. This continual targeted stifling of the SNP is an outrage, an affront not just to the people of Scotland but to the whole of the UK, who deserve to have reliable and sufficient knowledge of what this substantial group of representatives of the people are about, and hear the case that they are making on important issues like this.

    This is beyond mere “editorial judgement”. This is plain old-fashioned censorship.

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