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MSPs warn BBC over staff cuts

BBC Scotland has been warned against pursuing its plans for "destructive" editorial job cuts in the north by all eight SNP MSPs from the Highlands and Islands.

They have signed a strongly worded letter to Ken MacQuarrie, director of BBC Scotland, saying they believe its proposal for savings threatens to "greatly diminish the essential service" which the BBC provides throughout the Highlands and islands.

As The Herald revealed last month two of the four senior broadcast journalists in Inverness are to go. It is part of the programme of cuts confirmed by the BBC that will see a reduction of 35 staff posts in BBC Scotland by the end of March.

The MSPs are now seeking a meeting with the chairman of the BBC Trust to ask why BBC Scotland is cutting services.

A BBC spokesman said: “The funding restrictions which have been placed on us mean that we will have, in total, to lose two journalism posts in the Highlands.

“That said, BBC Scotland has never had a greater newsgathering commitment to the Highlands and Islands than it does at present, with 21 News staff working on English-language and Gaelic output across TV, radio and online.”

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