BBC Scotland’s weekend edition of its flagship morning news programme has been criticised over a failure to cover last week’s SNP walkout from the UK parliament.
The programme, Weekend Good Morning Scotland, contains debates and discussions of high profile stories and issues from that week.
However there was virtually no mention of the story that dominated last week’s news headlines.
The lack of coverage prompted criticism of the programme on social media, with several users demanding to know why the Power Grab and the SNP walkout had not featured to the degree it deserved.
One user asked: “Where is your coverage of the #BrexitShambles EU Withdrawal Bill? Failure to cover this is a dereliction of your duty to inform.”
The message brought a response from the Weekend GMS account which claimed the issue had been covered on the previous day’s Saturday programme: “First item after coverage of fire yesterday 0815.”
However another asked: “Why no coverage today of SNP or our Scots Govt? There are massive issues to discuss just now. BBC in Scotland is so regularly showing its bias to London. Why should Scots be forced to pay their licence when they get no service #BBCBias @BBCScotlandNews @BBCRadioScot @BBCNews”
There was more criticism of the lack of coverage: “Jeez, No wonder your listening figures are near zero. The devolution settlement was destroyed in 15 callous minutes at Westminster, there’s been a massive surge in @theSNP membership and you focus on some problems with UK Labour”
The claim by BBC Scotland that the Power Grab issue had been covered on the Saturday edition of GMS was not borne out by replay’s of the studio discussion. Of the six minute exchange, which centred mainly on Theresa May’s difficulty with her rebels, only a paltry fifteen seconds was spent on the SNP walkout.
Presenter Isabel Fraser raised the issue, however the studio guests declined to spend any time on it, preferring instead to concentrate on the UK parties internal difficulties with Brexit.
Social media criticism of the poor coverage on GMS also witnessed a twitter row between journalist Siobhan Synnot and other users. The journalist, who is a regular guest on BBC Scotland, defended the station’s coverage insisting there had been no new developments in the Power Grab story.
Synott was taken to task by one user who pointed out that ‘fresh lines’ are not needed in order for the issue to be included in studio discussions of that week’s big news stories. The user, Euan Anderson, also accused the BBC of not wanting to discuss the SNP walkout and the impact of Brexit on Scotland.
The Saturday discussion on Good Morning Scotland can be heard in full below. There was no mention of the SNP ‘Power Grab Walkout’ on the Sunday edition of the programme which focussed exclusively on the Labour party divisions over Brexit.
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