Sunday, 15 November 2009

BBC Apologises To SNP Minister

Newsnet Scotland can reveal that the BBC have been forced to issue a personal apology to senior SNP MSP Alex Neil after an item broadcast on Sunday 18th October attributed views to the SNP Minister that he had not expressed.

The BBC’s Catriona Renton, filming at the SNP conference in Inverness, had claimed on BBC Scotland’s Politics Show that Mr Neil had confirmed the SNP’s desire to see David Cameron become the Prime Minister at the next general election. The recorded interview with Mr Neil that followed Ms Renton’s claim contained no such confirmation.

A source close to Mr Neil explained that the MSP had subsequently complained to the BBC and had received an apology. However, there was a feeling of frustration that, unlike the inaccurate broadcast which came in the midst of the Glasgow North East by-election campaign, the BBC had refused to broadcast the apology.

Catriona Renton is a former Glasgow Labour Councillor, who represented Kelvindale before being ousted by the LibDems in 2003. Ms Renton went on to represent Labour in both the 2003 Holyrood elections and the 2004 European elections.

Ms Renton’s background is steeped in politics having worked for an MEP in Brussels as part of her Oxford University course. Her first job after graduating was working for ex Labour MP Dennis Canavan.

Catriona Renton was recruited by BBC Scotland's parliamentary unit in 2006, where John Boothman, husband of Labour MSP and ex-Health Minister Susan Deacon, was a senior producer.

Questions will surely be asked as to why someone with such recent and very close links to the Labour party in Scotland has been allowed such a high profile platform within BBC Scotland’s political department and whether her professional judgement may have been compromised.

Newsnet Scotland has contacted the BBC for an explanation of why the apology was not broadcast and what editorial control was exercised over Ms Renton’s inaccurate statement....the BBC have yet to respond.

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rabwil2000 said...

Labour plant Mssss Cat Renton is so obviously biased and anti SNP that listening to her
idiotic lies and looking at her make up plastered fish face make me want to puke.
She is an untalented tripe talking hag.
She,s a product of labour nepotism and should be sacked.
Along with Glen Campbell I may add.

newsnet said...

A bit harsh rabwil2000, her lies when referring to Mr Neil were exactly that.

However Ms Renton is actually quite pleasing to the eye and might become a very good presenter if she can lose this tendency to 'glencampbelise' whilst presenting on political matters.

I think that the BBC in Scotland need to have a word with whoever is in charge of their political department.

Anonymous said...

Why really irritates me is when they wheel on the Labourite journos at the end of Newsnicht to deliver some 'wise words' without their personal attachments/involvement with the Labour gangsters ever being mentioned to the viewing public.

Is this not in itself a breech of its charter?

Gedguy said...

Shame that no matter what we do the Unionist BBC will aid all those who want to stop the Scottish people from determining their own destiny.

Anonymous said...

Sadly if your only news providers are the BBC and the daily retard the glencampliness of the news provision will lead to labour holding onto their safest seat.

I would suggest the time is ripe for an online newspaper which supports self-determination. The problem is how to achieve this and sadly I don't know the answer to that.
Finally I would like to thank the person who takes the time to provide newsnet

Jacobite said...

'Is this not in itself a breech of its charter?'

The EBC have been in breach of their charter for a long time.
I told them that I was no longer prepared to pay the licence fee to get anti Scottish labour propoganda and I would be putting the money to a charity instead.
Forget all the scare stories about getting nobbled for none payment. They havn't a legal leg to stand on.

newsnet said...

Interesting comment Jacobite, please keep us up to speed on any developments.

Jacobite said...

I took legal advice before I took the decission.
Their charter states that they have to be non partisan politically and that has clearly is not the case.
Their charter also states that they have to be none racist but as we know we are constantly being bombarded with anti Scottish lies and smears.
It's worth looking through the charter just to see how often it's been broken with regard to Scotland.
BTW my soliciter told me to back claim on previous licence fees but I don't think I'll go that far.

newsnet said...

Very interesting Jacobite.

I'm minded to do an article on this subject at some point. I would very much appreciate any facts you can provide, especially the solicitors advice.

If you are interested in a private communication then the Newsnet Scotland monthly newsletter provides a secure online form for just that - click on the link to request the most recent publication if you haven't one already.

I would be particurly interested in the name of the solicitors who have advised you.

If the case is indeed as strong as you suggest then it may be worthwhile promoting this.

There is certainly a sense of frustration building within the independence supporting community as a result of having no outlet for their views. Meanwhile what news is provided is very heavily slanted, if not fabricated.

Anonymous said...

Time to stop calling it BBC Scotland methinks. It doesn't serve us.

Call it BBC Zimbabwe or BBC North Korea in protest whenever you post on forums and blogs.

That's the level they are at.

Through time there'll be hundreds doing that without a second thought.

Start today and stop calling it BBC Scotland.

Jacobite said...

My solicitor offered his services as a friend rather than as a client, however, I'll ask him if it's OK to publish details of his findings.
He says that the reason the BBC are not contesting the issue is because they can be charged with extortion and exacting monies under false pretences.
What the BBC are doing is criminal and illegal. It is nothing more than extortion but my solicitor also says I should put the equivelant of the fee into a charity and keep the receipt.
I'll keep you posted on any update.

newsnet said...

Please do Jacobite, oh and if your soicitor friend wishes to remain anonymous that's fine.

If we can reassure many that declining to pay the BBC licence fee is legal whilst at the same time paying the equivalent into a charity then we retain the moral high ground.

Anonymous said...

Good work all involved.

Anonymous said...


Great blog, thanks,

I'm disgusted with the BBC coverage of Scottish politics, it's so obviously bias and they are getting away with it. Not only that, look at the wages they pay!

If Jacobite is correct on the legalities of this then I' happy to cancel my direct debit and stand my ground!

Can The Scottish Government not do something about this?

Moridura had a channel 4 dispatches video on his blog, interesting BBC insight!

Oh! I've just checked, it's been blocked in the UK!

He tells why on his blog!

Thanks again, keep up the good work!

Eddie said...

Any more news on the licence fee question or is it a hoax?

newsnet said...

Unable to say Eddie as Jocobite did not get back with specific details.

However I would not dismiss the claim although of course I would never encourage anyone to break the law.

Eddie said...

Well said newsnet, but it would be something to look into as on the BBC website Brian Taylor is reporting on the environment opposed to speaking about politics's, particularity about how the Labour Party in East Lothian is in trouble and how it implicates Mr Grey in accepting funds that might not be above board. My cynical mind says if this was about any member in the SNP or even more so about Alex Salmond it would of been headlining news on the BBC Scotland website.

Anonymous said...

I would be very interested in Jacobite's idea, as I have already developed some ideas of my own.I would welcome a private correspondence where I can expand on this further.I can be contacted at the email adress below

boabwallace said...

at last some truth on those london parasites ,who make us pay for a licence
i would love to hear more,and spread the word ,so that the bbc nazis will take notice of us scots once and for all
it took a scot to give them tv and a bloated tory to licence us,he even stated that letting itv start was an act of treason
kirsty thanks for holiday jack wark,is one of the most biased interviewer on bbc,just because wee joke got booted as first minister,it sticks in her craw that AS is first minister
well tough you annoying woman,get a spine and tell the truth in interviews
lets all put the boot into bbc glasgow
watch them squirm for a change

Anonymous said...

Any update on the development of not paying Licence fee?

newsnet said...

I was contacted privately by someone who may have been the gentleman who originally posted the comment.

At the time he was seeking legal advice and promised to pass it on - unfortunatley there has been nothing since.

If I hear anything I'll certainly post it on the blog.