Immediately suspend Nick Robinson, pending investigation, for breach of BBC Trust Charter, Article 44.
Nick Robinson, the BBC's political editor has been caught blatantly lying to the public, breaching the BBC Charter and presenting a false picture of the Scottish Referendum debate. It calls into question the BBC's position in the Scottish Referendum and given the controversial nature of the topic, and proximity to the vote, surely calls for the immediate suspension of Mr Robinson. His position as politcal editor is untenable at this point in time, when the Scottish and UK public need to be able to rely on the BBC for clarity, honesty and impartiality.
During a report on the Scottish Referendum debate, on the 6 O'Clock news, Nick Robinson can be seen to be clearly lying about the events on which he is reporting. In doing so, he breaches Article 44 of the BBC Trust Charter Agreement.
The Article states:
44. Accuracy and impartiality.
(1) The BBC must do all it can to ensure that controversial subjects are treated with due accuracy and impartiality in all relevant output. (Link to Agreement)
During a live Q&A Alex Salmond took a question from the BBC's political editor Mr Robinson. Mr Robinson's report shows him asking the question: "Why should a Scottish voter believe you, a politician, against men who are responsible for billions of pounds of profit". It then cuts away to various images, accompanied by Mr Robinson's voiceover which states that Mr Salmond: "didn't answer, but he did attack the reporting of what he calls those in the metropolitan media."Here is footage of the report.
However, the BBC also broadcast the event live earlier in the day and this shows a very different reality to the one reported by Robinson. Mr Salmond took the question, before which Robinson clearly announces who he is. Not only does Salmond answer, but does so over the course of more than 5 minutes, during which he raised his own serious concerns about some market sensitive information released by the BBC the day before. After answering, Mr Robinson then appears to be seeking further clarity from Mr Salmond who then further clarifies his answer. The whole exchange lasts 7:46 seconds. The information presented by Salmond gives a lot of information that would be of use to the voting public. Here is footage from the BBC's own broadcast of the event.
This is an omission of the facts, a breach of the Charter and a clear example of lying on the job. Suspension is surely a necessity to restore trust in the BBC at this sensitive time. A thorough investigation must follow.
- BBC Trust
Immediately suspensed Nick Robinson, pending investigation, for breach of BBC Trust Charter, Article 44.
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