The BBC's Executive Complaints Unit (ECU) has partially upheld a complaint that that criticism of the Scottish Government’s handling of the Covid-19 outbreak went unanswered.

The review came after a viewer complained that the programme should have sought and broadcast a response from the Scottish Government.  

The ECU considered the complaint in the light of the BBC’s Editorial Guidelines on Impartiality.  

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The complaint came following an episode of Politics Scotland which saw then leader of the Scottish Conservatives and the chief executive of Scottish Care Donald Macaskill interviewed on May 17.  

Both interviews called for comprehensive testing of all staff and residents in care homes. At the time, this went against the Scottish Government's advice which recommended only sample testing. 

Posting their ruling, the ECU concluded: "Where there was no direct criticism of the Government, or where its position was readily apparent, the editorial guidelines would not oblige the programme to directly reflect its point of view.  

"Both guests, however, advocated comprehensive testing of all staff and residents in care homes currently free of Covid-19, in contrast to the then advice from the Scottish Government and Health Protection Scotland, which recommended only sample testing.

“The programme as broadcast did give viewers a sense of why some caution might be advised on this question.  

“But the official position was not set out in either interview in a way which might have offered a challenge to those being questioned. 

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“And whilst the overall benefits of comprehensive testing were not in dispute, the Health Secretary Jeane Freeman had laid out her Government’s ambition on this at some length on the programme the previous week when she spoke about the need to raise capacity. 

“The ECU therefore agreed that an opportunity should have been found to reflect her position and to that extent upheld the complaint.”

Following the investigation, the finding was reported to the BBC Scotland’s Executive Team and discussed with the programme-makers concerned.