Scottish independence: Blair Jenkins appointed chief of Yes campaign

FORMER BBC journalist Blair Jenkins is to be unveiled tomorrow as the chief executive of the campaign for Scottish independence ‘YesScotland’.

FORMER BBC journalist Blair Jenkins is to be unveiled tomorrow as the chief executive of the campaign for Scottish independence ‘YesScotland’.

• Former BBC journalist unveiled as chief executive of YesScotland

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• Campaign will attempt to be self-financing and will aim to avoid being solely reliant on SNP funding

• Margo MacDonald deemed ‘incompatible’ with campaign despite being in discussions with Jenkins

Mr Jenkins, who was head of news and current affairs at BBC Scotland, says he hopes to build a nationwide civic movement in favour of secession prior to the referendum in 2014.

He is expected to attempt to make the campaign self-financing so as not to rely entirely on the SNP’s financial war-chest.

The campaign also announced today that the chair of the campaign’s Advisory Board will be the former Labour MSP Denis Canavan. Other appointments are expected to be unveiled in the coming days.

However, Independent MSP Margo MacDonald today said she would not be playing a formal role despite having been in discussions with Mr Jenkins about becoming the group’s vice-chair.

Mrs MacDonald claimed she had been deemed “incompatible” with the campaign, saying there had been “a blockage” in her appointment.

But a spokesman for YesScotland said any suggestion she had been blocked was “completely false”, adding that the campaign still wanted her to be involved.

As well as his role in the BBC, Mr Jenkins, 55, is a former Director of Broadcasting at Scottish Television, and latterly ran the Scottish Broadcasting Commission, set up by the SNP Government. He was awarded an OBE for services to broadcasting in 2010,

Commenting on his appointment he said: “For more than 30 years my professional life has been about impartial journalism. I’m not a member of any party and I’ve never engaged in any form of political activity. But this is just too important.”

He said the campaign “will be represented and supported by people from across the political spectrum and none. It will not be dominated by party politics.”