Really!? Nicola Sturgeon accused of walking out of Boris call for TV briefing

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Ms Sturgeon left a call with the four devolved nations in order to take part in her daily coronavirus briefing, with some opposition parties questioning the value she places on the regular TV appearance. Not only did opposition parties accuse Ms Sturgeon of missing a “pivotal” call but they said nothing of any importance was in fact revealed during her briefing. A Scottish Conservative spokesman said: “It will raise more than a few eyebrows that Nicola Sturgeon’s priority is the BBC briefing over working together constructively with other governments.

“She missed a pivotal discussion in favour of a TV appearance where nothing was announced.

“It shows the value that the SNP leader puts on these BBC briefings in the run-up to the election in May.”

The Scottish Tories also called for the daily briefing to be headed by public health officials and expressed concern the news conferences were being misused to make political points.

In defence, Ms Sturgeon claimed the meeting between the four nations had been arranged on Sunday.

She said she could not alter the timing of her news briefing as it was organised so late.

Ms Sturgeon also insisted she was involved in the meeting for as long as she could in line with other commitments in her schedule.

She said: “I do this briefing every day. I wasn’t in charge of the timing of the call.

“We pointed out I do this briefing when a call was scheduled for 11.45.

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“It wasn’t a discussion, as I understand it, on what we are all doing.

“It was a report on what the Prime Minister was about to announce.

“People will criticise me for whatever I do in relation to the UK Government, so I am just going to do what I think is right and what discharges my responsibilities to the best of my ability.”

Last month the BBC refused to release the number of complaints it received concerning Ms Sturgeon’s daily news briefings.

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In a Freedom of Information request from The Scotsman, the broadcaster was asked to reveal the number of complaints it had received over the daily briefing.

The request had asked for a breakdown of complaints received by the BBC for every broadcast of Ms Sturgeon’s daily news conference.

The BBC said in response: “Editorial complaints form part of the ongoing review of the standards and quality of particular areas of programme making with a view to further enhancing these standards; the complaints themselves and the information associated with them plays a significant role in helping to inform editorial discussion and decisions going forward.

“In this way, information relating to editorial complaints is used to inform future content and improve the quality of journalistic output.

“This is an important part of the BBC’s process of creating and improving programmes.

“The BBC, as a media organisation, is under a duty to impart information and ideas on all matters of public interest and the importance of this function has been recognised by the European Court of Human Rights.

“Maintaining our editorial independence is a crucial factor in enabling the media to fulfill this function.”

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