The BBC has defended Andrew Marr after viewers complained he had been biased against Nicola Sturgeon and that coronavirus statistics presented to her were used in a selective way.
The First Minister for Scotland appeared on the programme at the last month where she was grilled on Covid-19 death rates in Scotland and England.
Marr told Ms Sturgeon that the Scottish National Party had ‘actually done worse than England in dealing with the Covid-19 second wave.’ He later asked her: ‘Have you let Scotland down?’
The corporation has hit back at complaints, however, stating that they don’t believe Marr’s approach was unfair’.
‘The First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon was closely questioned on topics such as her handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the attainment gap in Scottish education, and we heard Ms Sturgeon respond at length,’ the BBC said in a statement.
‘Andrew Marr referred to two distinct periods in his questioning about the pandemic, the first wave in the Spring and the second this Autumn.
‘Viewers were clear that Ms Sturgeon was being questioned about Scotland’s performance in the first wave before being presented with the most recent data available at the time of the interview.
‘We don’t agree that the approach taken was biased or unfair.’
The statement continued: ‘The Andrew Marr Show is known for its rigorous and in depth interviews in which politicians and others in positions of power are held to account.
‘The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was asked a range of challenging questions as were the other politicians interviewed on this edition of the programme.
‘Every interview is different but we believe each showed the scrutiny, detail and due impartiality the audience would expect.’
During the interview, Marr said: ‘You have talked a lot of the low prevalence of coronavirus in Scotland compared to other countries.
‘But when you look at the data, isn’t the truth that Scotland had the third-worst record of any country in Europe in the first wave?’
Ms Sturgeon replied: ‘The number of deaths in Scotland is far too high. You won’t hear me say anything different.
‘I don’t think it should be seen as a competition, but since you’ve asked me, we have a lower death rate than England and Wales.’
The Andrew Marr Show airs Sundays at 9am on BBC One.
Credit: Original article published here.