The protests outside BBC Scotland’s headquarters during the independence referendum were like something from “Putin’s Russia”, according to former BBC political editor Nick Robinson.
Speaking at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the broadcaster also slammed the “coded” language used to attack English journalists during the independence campaign by Nationalists, arguing that phrases like “metropolitan” were a reference to their nationality.
Mr Robinson is promoting his book, Election Diary, about the year-long build up to May’s general election, which included the referendum. The broadcaster was embroiled in a high-profile spat with Alex Salmond when he accused the SNP leader of failing to answer a question about the prospect of RBS leaving Scotland after a Yes vote – prompting thousands of Yes campaigners to gather in protest. “I didn’t think my offence was sufficient to justify 4,000 people marching on the BBC’s headquarters,” he told a sell-out audience last night. “Young men and women who are new to journalism had – like they do in Putin’s Russia – to fight their way through crowds of protesters, frightened as to how they do their jobs.”