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Friday, November 20, 1998 Published at 19:31 GMT


Adviser quits over Scottish TV news

Scotland does not look likely to get its own Six O'Clock News

The BBC's Nick Higham: "Governors want to keep apace of constitutional reform, not run ahead of it"
A BBC adviser has resigned over the corporation's reluctance to allow Scotland to have its own Six O'Clock News.

BBC governors said they would prefer to see a revamped, hour-long news show for the whole of the UK, rather than a special programme for Scotland.

But detractors say that as plans for the Scottish Parliament come closer to being put into effect, a Scottish Six O'Clock News is a democratic necessity.

Professor Lindsay Patterson quit his advisory role on Friday, saying: "Politicians from right across the political spectrum from Michael Forsyth at one extreme to Alex Salmond at the other extreme have said that a Six O'Clock News for Scotland is essential to improving the democratic debate.

"Now that it a consensus in Scotland that simply is not being registered in London."

[ image: Prof Lindsay Patterson:
Prof Lindsay Patterson: "Scottish consensus not registered in London"
The Scottish Nationalist Party added criticism. SNP representative Mike Russell said: "I think it is a kick in the face not just for the all the good people who work in Scottish broadcasting, but for the Scottish audience.

"The BBC will suffer because the audience will not want to hear what the BBC is putting out."

But not everyone was against the move. Scottish Tory leader David McLechtie said: "At the end of the day they have got to back the interests of the UK as a whole and they have got to look at the grand scheme - and that is to make sure that the Scottish parliament is properly covered."

BBC governors will come to a final decision next month, but it is likely they will seek to implement a revamped programme for the whole of the UK, with more about Scotland in it.

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