The BBC has published a letter in today's Scotsman defending itself against claims that Newsnight Scotland is biased towards the Scottish National Party.
It follows the political drama surrounding an interview broadcast on Tuesday night, in which the Labour MP Ian Davidson referred to the programme as “News-nat Scotland”, accused it of pro-SNP bias and refused presenter Isabel Fraser’s demands to apologize. Davidson’s attack was later supported by Labour activist and former Glasgow Lord Provost Michael Kelly writing in his Scotsman colomn yesterday.
The BBC responded in their letter by saying:
[W]e completely reject suggestions of bias on the part of our journalists working on Newsnight Scotland or, indeed, on any other of our programmes . . . Ms Fraser did what BBC journalists do week in, week out when she robustly, but fairly, challenged the views of Ian Davidson MP on Tuesday evening’s show . . . To suggest that by asking these questions she holds or promotes a particular opinion is, quite fundamentally, to misunderstand political interviewing.
However, the Herald’s political editor Magnus Gardham argued today that Davidson escalated his attack only “after it emerged an apparently neutral constitutional lawyer interviewed by the programme was an SNP blogger”.
The Herald reports that Davidson is now calling for an apology from BBC Scotland.