Rennie hits out at Alex Salmond’s illiberal attack on BBC

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has criticised an attack on the BBC by outgoing First Minister Alex Salmond, in which he claimed that the BBC did not understand the difference between a public service broadcaster and a state broadcaster.

Throughout the referendum campaign, Alex Salmond continually criticised the BBC’s coverage, which led in part to the mass demonstrations outside the BBC Glasgow headquarters in the final days of the referendum campaign.

 Mr Rennie said:

"Far from healing the nation the First Minister is using his last days in office to sow grievance, grudge and division.  He is hunting for a villain to blame for him losing the referendum. Once again he has decided to shoot the messenger, just like the demonstrations we saw outside the BBC in the final days of the referendum campaign.

“This is a typical tactic of Alex Salmond as he once he compared a senior BBC official to a Nazi Gauleiter in an attempt to force his way onto our TV screens.

“His paranoid claims of a Great Plot by the BBC to undermine his independence plans discredit the democratic views of the two million Scots who voted of their own free will to stay in the UK. Alex Salmond’s claims are put to bed by Yes campaign chief Blair Jenkins, who himself said the BBC was not biased.

“The majority of people in Scotland value the public broadcasting service delivered by the BBC on our TV, radio and internet. This is nothing but an illiberal attempt by Alex Salmond to discredit the BBC by stoking up the flames of old nationalist conspiracy theories. Scotland’s First Minister should be strengthening democracy by standing up for free and robust journalism, not misusing his office to intimidate and bully our trusted national broadcaster.”

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