Ofcom have confirmed that they are to review the BBC’s election coverage of Alba Party following a complaint made by Alex Salmond’s party. The broadcaster says they “have provided The Alba Party with appropriate and proportionate coverage”.
Alba Party are unhappy at their exclusion from the Leader’s Debates held by BBC and STV during this Scottish Parliamentary Election. They have lodged a formal complaint with a spokesperson confirming to Cross/Rip, “We can confirm we have received a formal complaint which we are carefully reviewing”.
The review is set to take place on Friday, but the BBC deny any accusations of bias against Alex Salmond and Alba Party.
Speaking exclusively to Cross/Rip, a BBC spokesperson said, “We believe that, to date, we have provided The Alba Party with appropriate and proportionate coverage. We have supplied Ofcom with information on our coverage ahead of the meeting of their Election Committee.”
Alba Party leader Alex Salmond has recently claimed that the BBC “cannot be trusted to report on Scotland’s democracy”. In a statement today he also accused the BBC of being “the broadcasting Bourbons – they have learnt nothing from their blatant bias of 2014”.
Analysis by Grant McKenzie
I’m sceptical at how successful this complaint will be. Of all the published decisions taken on these kind of matters, the Ofcom Election Committee has never upheld a complaint of this nature.
It is likely that this is a tactic to galvanise Alba Party’s hardcore support who are likely to be sympathetic to accusation of BBC bias against Scottish independence. I don’t know how likely it is to nudge broadcasters like STV and BBC into including Alba Party in debates, especially when the polls aren’t showing progressively increasing support for Alba.