Scots are demanding that the BBC’s Sarah Smith be held accountable after she claimed that former Prime Minister Alex Salmond said current leader Nicola Sturgeon “should resign”. The only problem: Salmond did not say such a thing.
Former Scottish National Party leader and Prime Minister Alex Salmond beaded before a parliamentary inquiry on Friday nearly a year after he was acquitted of serious charges of sexual misconduct. Salmond told the inquiry that he had seen text messages implicating the current Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon in the case against him, and accused Sturgeon – his former protégé – of pressuring the police to investigate him, of pushing witnesses to testify against him and to engage in “Construction of Evidence.”
The BBC’s Sarah Smith described the day’s events to cameras outside Holyrood and told viewers that Salmond had said Sturgeon had “Broken Ministerial Code,” and “Must resign.”
Whether it was intentional or unintentional, the quote was completely wrong. Salmond said he believes Sturgeon broke the ministerial code, but followed it up by saying “It is not the case that any minister who breaks the ministerial code resigns,” and that it is “not to me” to decide whether she resigns or not.
Smith was soon bombarded with calls to resign and accused of deliberately stabbing party political drama to weaken the Scottish National Party and thus the cause of Scottish independence.
Authentic journalism means reporting facts and not reporting on what you want facts to be #resignsarahsmith
– 🔶Jonathan Banks🔶 arParliamentary spokesman RNP (@Jonathan_MBanks) February 27, 2021
Sarah Smith knew exactly what she was doing yesterday. There can now be no doubt that the BBC is only the propaganda arm of the British regime. #ResignSarahSmith
– FraMcCa 💙 💙 (@framcca) February 27, 2021
Smith illogised shortly after and claimed that she meant to describe Salmond as saying “I have no doubt that Nicola has broken the ministerial code, but it is not for me to suggest what the consequences should be.” The BBC’s press team issued the same announcement minutes later.
Twitter commentators did not buy it. Smith was accused of covering her backside if regulators investigated her, and Scottish nationalists pointed out that the BBC reporter had at least twice before misrepresented the words of Scottish politicians.
The reason Sarah Smith tweeted this correction is because it ensures that Ofcom cannot rule against her if people complain. The watchdog will point to the tweet and say she has deleted and corrected the error. In short, Smith uses a loophole to avoid formal mistrust.#resignsarahsmithhttps://t.co/djvVgtkDGb
– MSM_Monitor (@msm_monitor) February 27, 2021
The failure within the SNP comes as several polls show that a majority of the Scottish public supports Britain’s independence. However, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has thrown cold water on every level for another independence vote, calling the vote in 2014, in which independence was rejected by 55 to 45 percent, “Once in a generation event.”
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!