BBC break-up planned after independence

Alex Salmond has said he would break up the BBC if Scotland votes for independence to provide the nation with its own public service broadcaster.

The First Minister said the current situation had left Scottish viewers and production talent “short-changed”.

Speaking at the Edinburgh International Television Festival yesterday, the SNP leader said: “In an age of a digital revolution, broadcasting has not even adapted to devolution.”

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Outlining his party’s plans, he said: “We’d also establish a national public service broadcaster based on the existing staff and assets of BBC Scotland, further details on how that broadcaster would operate and its relationship with the BBC will be published next year.”

Mr Salmond said there would be “continued access” for programme-makers from outside Scotland to supply content to the new broadcaster. He said the most popular BBC shows would remain.

Mr Salmond said the new broadcaster would take the share of the licence fee currently paid to the BBC by Scottish viewers, and any future level of the new licence fee would be up for “discussion”.