Pressure on the BBC after it ‘edited out’ NFU Scotland’s Brexit commentary on the food shortage

PRESSURE is mounting on the BBC after the broadcaster was accused of cutting out a reference to Brexit in a clip about food shortages.

Anger erupted after a segment aired on BBC Scotland’s The Seven and Reporting Scotland appeared to edit out the speaker’s mentions of Brexit amid a discussion of the impact of the food shortages.

National Farmers Union Scotland President Martin Kennedy had discussed issues affecting the design such as the war in Ukraine, Covid and Brexit.

The latter edition was included in a written version on the BBC’s website but appears to have been removed from the broadcast clip.

READ MORE: Chaos at the Port of Dover costs Scottish company ‘£800 a lorry’

An outcry ensued after the reports as the lack of a reference to Brexit was described as “shocking”.

Tony Blair’s former communications chief shared the National’s article on the dispute, calling the report “incredible”.

Meanwhile, lawyer and activist Peter Stefanovic tweeted: “This is really shocking”.

One user tweeted: “Another bloody article on @BBCScotlandNews. We need answers to that.”

In the clip, which was broadcast on BBC Scotland, Kennedy said: “We’ve heard the term ‘perfect storm’ before but I’ve never seen anything like it.

“And it really is a perfect storm due to the Covid issues where we’ve had a real shortage of manpower.”

There was a clear cut at that point before Kennedy continued: “And now, of course, with the Ukraine crisis, the impact on energy costs, particularly feed, fertilizer and fuel, has made things worse.

“Every sector faces some real challenges going forward and the last thing we want to do is shut down production because the impact that will impact our consumers down the road will be even greater food inflation.”

Nonetheless, a written version of the interview retained Kennedy’s mention of Brexit when he spoke of the “perfect storm” over food and agriculture.

It said: “Martin Kennedy, President of NFU Scotland, told BBC Scotland the impact of the Russian invasion had been ‘absolutely devastating’ after two years of Brexit and the Covid pandemic.

“He added, ‘I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s completely unprecedented. The long-term effects of this will have serious repercussions throughout the food supply chain. We’ve heard the term about a ‘perfect storm’ before, but I’ve never seen anything like it.”

READ MORE: Brexit protocol creates ‘spiral of violence’ in Northern Ireland

This led to allegations that the BBC edited out the NFU Scotland President’s reference to Britain’s exit from the EU.

One Twitter user accused the BBC of “beautiful reporting” on Brexit, while another said it was “crazy” to remove any mention of Brexit from the topic of food shortages.

Twitter user Liz Webster said: “The @BBCScotland is protecting #Brexit by editing it from an interview with the head of @NFUStweets.

“Why would @BBCNews do that?”

The BBC has been contacted for comment.

Leave a Comment