Alex Salmond demands Holyrood control over the BBC

ALEX Salmond has called for control of the BBC to be handed to the Scottish Parliament following the corporation’s coverage of the referendum campaign.

BBC Scotland says its election coverage is fair and balanced. Picture: Getty
BBC Scotland says its election coverage is fair and balanced. Picture: Getty
BBC Scotland says its election coverage is fair and balanced. Picture: Getty

The former First Minister said the BBC allowed itself to be “dominated” by the agenda of “metropolitan newspapers” largely opposed to a Yes vote.

During a question and answer session to promote his book at the SNP conference yesterday, he told delegates: “Some of the experience of the referendum has scarred the BBC and there has been some gain from it already from our perspective.

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“This week Nicola Sturgeon will take her rightful place in the TV debates, which was something that the BBC resisted in court at the last general election.

“That is an advance but in reality I don’t think the broadcasting issue in terms of how it treats Scotland will be properly resolved until we have broadcasting under the remit of our democratic parliament in Scotland.”

Thousands of independence supporters staged rallies outside the BBC in Glasgow over perceived bias during the campaign.

Mr Salmond’s call came under fire from political opponents yesterday.

Scottish Liberal Democrat president Sir Malcolm Bruce said: “The BBC is respected across the globe for its reporting – except for Alex Salmond and his conspiracy theorists. It is time for Alex Salmond to stop hunting for excuses for losing the referendum and move on to building a stronger economy and a fairer society.”

A spokesman for BBC Scotland said: “Our coverage of the referendum was fair and balanced and our coverage of the general election is fair and balanced.”

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Mr Salmond also said yesterday that Conservative attempts to portray him as Labour leader Ed Miliband’s puppet master are “fundamentally stupid” and ineffectual.

Mr Salmond said: “I think you should never, ever put your political opponents on your posters ... not because it’s dreadful but because it’s stupid.

“I think the Tory campaign is fundamentally stupid.

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“I don’t think it’s doing Labour any harm and I don’t think it’s doing us any harm whatsoever because the most important thing for the SNP in every Westminster election is to achieve the thing we failed to achieve since 1974 and that’s to achieve relevance.”

Mr Salmond said current SNP MPs, such as the party’s Westminster leader Angus Robertson, have already had a taste of “upsetting the apple cart”.

“I think there’s a wee bit of experience,” he added.