‘Sturgeon show!’ Nicola ordered to step down from Covid briefings after ‘unfair’ advantage
Nicola Sturgeon’s briefing mocked by comedian in spoof
Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said the First Minister should be replaced by a medical or science expert in the Scottish Government daily briefings, which are broadcast several times a week. Mr Jack also urged BBC Scotland to review the First Minister’s daily appearances and branded them as the “Nicola Sturgeon Show”.
He said: “The pandemic has given the First Minister a platform. I point my finger directly at BBC Scotland for that.
“I don’t think all of the broadcasts they have given her have been around Covid issues.”
He pointed out when the UK Government do briefings, they have “involved scientists and chief medical officers and, in terms of the vaccination, Army officers.”
The Secretary of State for Scotland claimed: “that’s the right way, to allow the experts to speak.”
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He added: “But this has been the Nicola Sturgeon Show and given her a platform.”
Mr Jack said he had spoken to the BBC about the matter questioning whether the briefings with Ms Sturgeon were “the right thing to do.”
“I don’t dispute the public need to be informed but there are medical officers who could do that quite adequately,” he added.
He said the briefings were giving the SNP an “unfair advantage” compared to rival political parties.
He concluded to The Herald: “The BBC and others need to be impartial and there are other ways of getting that information across using the Chief Medical Officer or the scientific advisers; it doesn’t have to be done by politicians.
“People are only thinking of COVID but when the media turns its spotlight on to the Sturgeon/salmond inquiry or their failings as a government, their incompetence over education or a number of other things – last week it was the vaccine rollout, which was desperately slow compared to other parts of the UK – they deflect every time to an independence referendum and finding another survey to release.”
Mr Jack had exclusively revealed to Express.co.uk during an interview in November that he thought the SNP were a campaign group “disguising themselves as a party of government.”
It comes as the SNP complained to the BBC claiming their politicians were not appearing enough in Nicola Sturgeon’s COVID-19 briefings.
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A letter, written by SNP depute leader Keith Brown, claimed opposition parties including the Scottish Conservatives received more coverage than the ruling Scottish party during the BBC’s prime time show.
In response, an SNP spokesman told Express.co.uk the comments from Alister Jack were “an extraordinary outburst”.
They added: “For a Tory cabinet minister to attack BBC Scotland for screening vital public health information and try to bully it in this way simply shows how rattled the Tories are – and unless Mr Jack is also demanding his boss Boris Johnson is stopped from giving covid briefings, everyone will see this for the desperate politicking it is.
“The First Minister is getting on with the job of helping steer the country through the crisis.”
A BBC spokesperson said: ‘Our coverage of coronavirus and public health issues in Scotland incorporates a range of voices and perspectives.
“This allows us to bring news and views from around Scotland and beyond, involving politicians from across the political spectrum, as well as commentators, analysts and other experts.
“We remain committed to having this broad coverage of voices and perspectives across all our news outlets on television, radio and online.”
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