Daily briefings

Ofcom urged to probe Sturgeon over impartiality

Nicola Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon: accused of using briefings for political gain

Broadcast regulator Ofcom has been asked to investigate whether Nicola Sturgeon’s daily coronavirus briefings breach impartiality rules.

Labour peer George Foulkes said the First Minister is using the briefings to her political advantage and regularly criticises UK government policy.

He said the briefings should not continue in their present form as the election campaign builds in the new year with no opportunity for other parties to respond.

According to The Herald, Mr Foulkes said he would prefer public health officials rather than the First Minister present updates on the coronavirus and wants Ofcom to order BBC Scotland to restrict the briefings to its news bulletins. Political statements should be made in the parliament.

However, he claimed BBC Scotland wouldn’t do so “because they feel intimidated by the overbearing attitude of the Scottish Government”.

Lord Foulkes said if the live briefings continued into next year’s Holyrood election campaign it would be an “outrageous breach of the impartiality rules which Ofcom has a responsibility to uphold”.

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