BBC issue response over Scottish independence complaints during Queen's death coverage

The BBC has responded to complaints from viewers over discussing Scottish independence during the broadcaster’s coverage around the Queen's death and funeral.

The corporation received 269 complaints following the airing of a BBC News Special: The Queen’s Coffin Moved to Edinburgh, with viewers complaining around the discussion of Scottish independence and the future of the monarchy during such an event.

The BBC has since responded to the complaints from viewers, who suggested the broadcaster introduced political elements to the programme on the BBC One and BBC News channel.

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In defence of their coverage, a statement on the BBC’s official complaints page read: “It was editorially appropriate to discuss the future of Scotland, including its relationship with the monarchy, as part of our coverage.

Some viewers complained regarding the coverage of royal events in Scotland following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Balmoral.
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“Scottish independence and the union of the United Kingdom remain significant areas of interest to many in the audience, so it was important to acknowledge and include a wide range of views within our reporting.

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“We have marked the outpouring of warmth and affection towards Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as people paid their respects outside Balmoral; as her cortege made its way to Edinburgh; and at the Lying at Rest at St Giles’ Cathedral.

“Our coverage has been extensive, respectfully reflecting Queen Elizabeth II’s legacy and impact in Scotland.”

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The BBC said it received 269 complaints over the broadcast around an “offensive reference to John Knox” and “inappropriate” references to Scottish independence.

A spokesman said following the Knox comment: “We are sorry for the offence caused by the unscripted exchange during our live coverage of the cortege carrying the Queen's coffin.”

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