Reporters north and south of the Scottish border hit back at a flurry of emails they received from the SNP telling them how to interview the Conservative Party. The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) also snapped back and told the SNP that “journalists don’t need advice on how to do their jobs from political parties”. Journalists also flocked to Twitter to slap down the call.
One said: “This is an absolute disgrace. We don’t tell politicians how to do their jobs, so why on earth do they think they can tell us how to do ours?”
He said: “‘Heeding guidance’ from a political party on how to interview politicians? Say that out aloud to yourself.
“What kind of country do you think you’ll get if you have journalist who heed partisan advice on their work?”
Another added: “How dare journalists be questioned or in any way criticised.”
The emails came from SNP spin doctors who issued advice one how to ensure journalists across the nation collude to get the Tories “tied in knots” over their opposition to a second go at a Scottish independence referendum, The Times reports.
The email also cites an interview by STV correspondent Bernard Ponsonby, who took the Tories to task for claiming Mr Johnson had a mandate to deliver his Brexit deal by delivering a majority of MPs while also arguing that there should not be a second referendum because the SNP won less than 50 percent of the vote in Scotland.
The deal today won the support of Parliament and will be used through in January.
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The email said: “Bernard Ponsonby highlights how easily Tories — who try and assert that the SNP have no mandate for a second referendum — can be tied in knots.”
It added: “When interviewing them on the matter please do not accept their assertions and move on.
“Boris Johnson and the Tories’ undemocratic and untenable position should be rigorously scrutinised.”
John Toner, the Scottish officer for the NUJ, said: “Professional journalists do not need guidance from any political party on how to do their jobs.
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“How interviews are handled is a matter for the journalist and his/her editor.
“The claims of all political parties should be rigorously scrutinised, and it is not acceptable for one party to try to influence the degree to which other parties are scrutinised.”
The SNP said in a statement: “It was disappointing so many Tories appeared unable to accept the result or understand what it meant.
“We simply highlighted to broadcasters that the SNP won the election overwhelmingly.”
The emails come after new Speaker of the House of Commons Lindsay Hoyle took aim at the SNP today.
The new Speaker humiliated the party by not selecting an amendment to derail Brexit.
Ms Sturgeon’s SNP sought to ensure that the government could not take the UK out of the EU without the consent of the Scottish parliament.
The group wanted the second reading of the Brexit deal to the scrapped “because 62 percent of voters in Scotland supported remaining in the European Union”.