A BBC news reporter has suggested that the Queen would be distressed if Scots were to vote for independence in 2014.
Nicholas Witchell, the BBC’s Royal correspondent made the claim in a news report on the Queen’s visit to Scotland.
Mr Witchell referred to the “break up” of the United Kingdom, and asked First Minister Alex Salmond if he believed the Queen would be distressed if Scotland opted for independence.
The First Minister explained that he didn’t think that would be the case and that the Queen would continue to be “Queen of Scots.”
Witchell questioned Mr Salmond’s answer saying: “As to his claim that the Queen wouldn’t be the slightest bit bothered by the break-up of the United Kingdom, that claim would seem very much less certain.”
However the BBC reporter gave no evidence to back up his own comments and instead a news recording from 1977 was shown, with the Queen saying: “I cannot forget that I was crowned Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”
There has already been anger expressed at both Mr Witchell’s claims of ‘distress’ and his use of the term ‘break-up’ to describe Scottish independence.
Earlier this year BBC Chiefs acknowledged that the corporation had to be mindful not to use pejorative terms favoured by Unionists when reporting on the independence debate.
The decision to ban the use of terms such as ‘Divorce’, ‘separation’ and break-up’ followed a meeting between First Minister Alex Salmond and Chair of the BBC Trust, Lord Patten. The Scottish Government compiled a dossier containing what it claimed were examples of BBC presenters using biased language.
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