POLITICS

Salmond Says Robinson Should Be 'Embarrassed And Ashamed' Of Referendum Coverage

23/08/2015 19:53 BST | Updated 23/08/2015 20:59 BST

Alex Salmond is still upset. Nearly a year after the pro-independence movement lost the vote to break up the United Kingdom, the former SNP leader took a swing at the outgoing BBC political editor on Sunday, saying he should be “embarrassed and ashamed" of his reporting during the bitter referendum campaign.

Salmond was responding to a line from Nick Robinson, who told the Edinburgh International Book Festival last week that the protests outside the BBC's Glasgow headquarters during the campaign were “putin-like.

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Alex Salmond at the count at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre in Aberdeen

Snapping back in column for the Courier newspaper on Sunday, Salmond called the comparison “ludicrous,” adding that he had not commented on the remarks earlier due to Robinson’s cancer diagnosis.

He wrote: "I am glad that the BBC's Nick Robinson has been restored to health. For some months I have said nothing at all about auld Nick because it is unfair to criticise someone who is not able to answer back. Now he is back.”

Salmond continued: “The BBC's coverage of the Scottish referendum was a disgrace. It can be shown to be so, as was Nick's own reporting of which he should be both embarrassed and ashamed."

Robinson, who is to join Radio 4's Today programme, was involved in a spat with Salmond at a press conference in Edinburgh during the referendum campaign, which sparked a wave of pro-independence supporters gathering outside the BBC's Scotland HQ demanding the BBC man’s resignation.

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Nick Robinson who is joining the flagship Radio 4 Today Programme to replace Jim Naughtie who announced his departure this week

Last week, Robinson said he regretted the row, but suggested his disagreement with Salmond did not justify “4,000 people marching on the BBC's headquarters so that young men and women who are new to journalism have, like they do in Putin's Russia, to fight their way through crowds of protesters, frightened as to how they do their jobs."

Salmond wrote in response: "To compare, as Nick did last week, 4,000 Scots peacefully protesting outside BBC Scotland as something akin to Putin's Russia is as ludicrous as it is insulting. It is also heavily ironic given that the most commonly used comparison with the BBC London treatment of the Scottish referendum story was with Pravda, the propaganda news agency in the old Soviet Union.

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