Alex Salmond slams BBC over ‘historically ignorant’ Queen coverage

BBC commentator laughs about John Knox clearing the Catholics out of Scotland

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Alex Salmond has launched a scathing attack on the BBC’s coverage of the Queen’s death and subsequent mourning period in Scotland. The former SNP leader claimed the broadcaster had “badly let people down” by peddling “a state political line” in its programming.

He said the BBC had shown “historical ignorance” and a “bias” in the days since the Queen’s death at Balmoral Castle had been announced.

Edinburgh has been the focal point for events in Scotland to commemorate the life of Queen Elizabeth II.

The monarch’s body was transported to the Scottish capital on Sunday, lying at the Palace of Holyrood before being taken to St Giles’ Cathedral on Monday for a thanksgiving service attended by King Charles III and other senior royals.

Following the procession, the Queen’s body lied in state for Scottish mourners to view, before travelling down to London to lie in state in Westminster Hall ahead of her funeral.

On Twitter last night, Mr Salmond wrote: “The BBC have badly let people down in their coverage of the Queen’s passing.

“The ongoing attempt to appropriate a display of Scottish respect and affection for our late monarch to peddle a state political line, shows the extent of BBC departure from broadcasting standards.”

The former Scottish First Minister argued that during the mourning period so far his fellow countrymen had “done the Queen proud”.

He added: “I am in no doubt that she planned the whole thing exactly as it transpired and the solemnity, without flummery, is what she would have wanted. It was as it should be.

“In the case of the BBC, journalists and contributors queue up to parade their historical ignorance but apparent certainty of the late Queen’s opinions without the benefit, for the most part, of ever having a serious personal conversation with her.”

Mr Salmond concluded: “BBC bias and the needless, and completely pointless, arrest of a handful of protesters have been the only jarring notes in an otherwise fitting and positive Scottish contribution and appreciation for this truly remarkable lady.”

An otherwise largely peaceful procession through Edinburgh was disturbed by a lone protester, and Scottish police have made three arrests relating to breaches of the peace as the Queen’s coffin moved around the capital.

A 22-year old woman, who had been pictured holding an anti-monarchy sign, and a 74-year old man who were arrested separately on Sunday were charged with breaching the peace.

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The third, a 22-year old man arrested on Monday along the route of the procession of the Queen’s coffin through Edinburgh, has yet to be charged.

On Monday, footage of a hearse carrying the queen’s coffin, followed on foot by her children, showed one protester heckling her son Prince Andrew, before being pulled from the crowd by a man. He was then separated from the crowd by police officers.

Earlier this week, the BBC came under fire for comments by a presenter that were said to be “inflammatory and wrong” during the proclamation of King Charles III in Edinburgh on Sunday.

It is perhaps this that the former First Minister was referring to in his Twitter tirade.

A presenter remarked that the Protestant reformer John Knox was buried on the route the late Queen took from her Balmoral estate to Holyrood Palace.

Another presenter then replied: “John Knox of course, the old great Protestant reformer, who cleared the Catholics out of Scotland.”

John Knox led the Protestant reformation in Scotland and openly called for Mary, Queen of Scots to be executed.

The BBC has been contacted for comment.

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