Politics

Sarah Smith gaffes: Everything BBC does in Scotland is under a microscope

THE BBC will be hoping their new Scotland Editor James Cook can avoid making the news as much as Sarah Smith did. The job of Scotland Editor is a high profile role and one that will attract much scrutiny, from every side of the political spectrum.

Smith, who graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1989 with a Master of Arts degree, sometimes looked less than comfortable as Scotland Editor.

Her use of language led her intro trouble during her 10pm national news report, when she said: “The Scottish Government say like all the UK nations they base their advice on expert advice that they are given and it’s got nothing to do with politics but it has been obvious that Nicola Sturgeon has enjoyed the opportunity to set her own lockdown rules and not have to follow what’s happening in England or other parts of the UK.”

Ms Smith, the daughter of late Labour leader John Smith, said her comment, made during a live link, was a “mistake”.

During the Alex Salmond inquiry she again had to apologise after reporting that Salmond had called on Sturgeon to resign during his appearance at a Holyrood committee.

On Twitter, Smith clarified: “On the 6 o’clock news headline tonight I said that Alex Salmond had claimed the First Minister had ‘broken the ministerial code and that he thinks she should resign’. I would like to clarify that Mr Salmond did not say that the First Minister should resign.”

Ofcom warned in 2020 that Scots were the most dissatisfied with the ‘range and authenticity’ of BBC output, which was the highest figure in the UK. With the future funding arrangements of the BBC in doubt, everything the BBC does in Scotland will remain under a microscope.

No pressure, then, James.

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