Independence: Question Time Holyrood debate tabled

UKIP leader Nigel Farage was back in Scotland for Question Time this week. Picture: Jane Barlow
UKIP leader Nigel Farage was back in Scotland for Question Time this week. Picture: Jane Barlow
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AN SNP MSP has tabled a motion in the Scottish Parliament criticising the BBC over the panel for Thursday’s edition of debate show Question Time in Edinburgh, which featured Nigel Farage and George Galloway.

Kenneth Gibson MSP placed the parliamentary motion yesterday, and has so far been supported by 24 of his fellow MSPs. If the motion is discussed on the Parliament floor, it could lead to a vote on an official rebuke for the BBC from Holyrood.

Mr Gibson’s motion criticises the BBC for inviting Respect’s George Galloway and Ukip’s Nigel Farage to participate despite their lack of Scottish representation.

Gibson also calls for the BBC to “try to reflect political reality north of the border” in what he describes as the corporation’s “occasional forays into Scotland”.

The motion concludes: “(The parliament) calls on the BBC to reflect on its choice of Question Time guests and their relevance to Scotland, given that the only time any Scottish issues are debated on the programme is, it considers, when it is recorded in Scotland.”

Thursday’s edition of the show featured an audience of 16- and 17-year-olds, with a panel of Farage, Galloway, SNP Westminster leader Angus Roberston, Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson, Scottish Labour deputy leader Anas Sarwar, and Scotsman columnist Lesley Riddoch.

A spokesman for Mr Galloway, who is MP for Bradford West, told the Herald: “This is desperately parochial and rather pathetic by the SNP. Are they saying that only people who are geographically based in Scotland are allowed to comment?

“George was instrumental in the campaign for a Scottish parliament.”

The BBC defended the panel’s composition before the broadcast, calling it “as broad a range of political opinion as possible, while offering a UK-wide audience at home a varied and interesting political and current affairs debate.”