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LOCAL MSP CRITICISES BBC DECISION TO STOP DAILY CORONAVIRUS BRIEFINGS

Rutherglen MSP Clare Haughey has urged the BBC to row back on their decision to stop broadcasting the First Minister’s Covid-19 briefings.

The BBC announced earlier this month that it was no longer going to televise the press conferences and, instead, show them online and only occasionally on television.

The decision, which comes as coronavirus cases in South Lanarkshire and across Scotland are rising, has been slammed by public health experts and third sector organisations.

Clare Haughey MSP has written to the BBC Scotland Director, Steve Carson, calling for the continued coverage of the briefings.

Commenting, the local MSP said:

“Unfortunately, we are seeing cases of coronavirus beginning to increase again, therefore the BBC’s move to limit broadcasting the briefings is incredibly short-sighted. The Scottish Government’s press conferences are just as important now than they ever have been.

“Whilst they may be streamed online, this is not helpful for the many people who don’t use the internet. A high percentage of those will be older people – who we know are at higher risk from coronavirus.

“The televised briefings have been accessible for older people, those who were previously shielding, as well as people with hearing difficulties and who use BSL and they have been a vital public service.

“The BBC should put public health first and continue to televise the briefings every day they are held.”

ENDS

Date published: 17th September 2020

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