Nicola Sturgeon, SNP and BBC accused of ‘cynically’ using COVID-19 in independence bid

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Speaking on talkRADIO Dan Wootton hit out at the BBC’s Scottish Editor Sarah Smith claiming she had broadcast an SNP puff piece on during the flagship news bulletin. The radio host also lashed out at Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP for using the COVID-19 pandemic to pursue Scottish independence.  

Mr Wootton said: “I believe Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP are using global health pandemic to cynically pursue independence and the BBC seems to helping them do it.

“This is the Scottish Editor Sarah Smith using last night’s flagship 10pm news bulletin on the BBC hosted by Hugh Edwards to broadcast a feature that was nothing short of a puff piece for the SNP.”

The talkRADIO host then played the audio of news bulletin which said: “Nicola Sturgeon’s personal rating seems to have soared in the last few months.

“In a recent poll with Scottish voters, she had 60 percent approval compared to Boris Johnson on -39 percent.

“Support for Scottish independence seems to have increased at the same time rising from 49 percent to 54 percent during the pandemic with 46 percent of voter saying they want to remain in the UK.

“Anyone campaigning to keep the union in future might find that they are fighting the prevailing trend.”

Mr Wootton said: “What the h*ll is the BBC doing! Some type of propaganda for the SNP on the 10pm news bulletin.

“The prevailing trend. You do remember Sarah Smith that there was a once in a generation referendum a few years back with a result.

“Just unbelievable coverage of this issue.”

Yesterday John Curtice revealed there has been a shift in support towards Scottish independence from both pro-EU and Brexit supporters in Scotland.

The political scientist told TimesRadio the coronavirus pandemic may have led to a rise in support for Scottish independence

Mr Curtice said: “The polls this year are saying that both groups have become a bit more pro yes although remain voters are still much more likely to be in favour of yes than leave voters.

“Leave voters are now switching to some degree.

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“It is no longer obvious whether this most recent increase is to do with Brexit as opposed to something else.

“The most obvious something else is of course coronavirus.”

He continued: “It is probably true that more people across the whole of the UK, not least England, now realise that quite a lot of life in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is not run by the UK Government in London.

“It is run by the developed administrations.”

Express.co.uk has contacted SNP and BBC separately for comment.

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