THE BBC has rebuffed Tory calls to stop broadcasting Nicola Sturgeon’s daily coronavirus briefing, with the corporation saying they are “matters of great public interest”.

Yesterday, Jackson Carlaw became the latest in his party to attack the broadcaster, saying he was “surprised” they still carried the daily sessions with the First Minister and the government’s medical and scientific advisers.

Last week, his colleague Murdo Fraser said it was “absolute nonsense that @BBCScotlandNews are still broadcasting live every day a 30 minute Party Political Broadcast by the SNP”.

The daily Downing Street press conference on coronavirus stopped at the end of last month, with the UK Government promising briefings on an “ad hoc” basis to “coincide with significant announcements”.

Though earlier this week, Number 10 unveiled plans to televise the daily press briefing, which sees accredited political journalists ask questions of the Prime Minister’s spokesperson.

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Speaking on the Sunday Politics Scotland, the Scottish Tory leader was asked about comments made by Jacob Rees-Mogg where he compared Nicola Sturgeon to Donald Trump.

Host Gordon Brewer asked Carlaw why he didn’t intervene when a colleague made the silly personal attack. He added: “It’s not very helpful if the leader of the House of Commons says things like this, because it doesn’t matter what all the good work that you think you’re doing, it’s completely set aside by that.”

Carlaw replied: “I don’t disagree with you, I’ve made the point and I’ve made the point generally, I don’t single out anyone individually, I’ve made the point generally, let’s not focus on individuals, let’s focus on what is actually happening.

“And it’s all very well being good PR on a daily press conference which used to be about public health now just seems to be about general party politics, I’m surprised you still go along with it in the way that you do, Gordon.”

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A spokesman for BBC Scotland told The National: “We’re broadcasting Scottish Government briefings on the pandemic and the easing of lockdown because these are matters of great public interest.”

The SNP’s Tommy Sheppard said Carlaw has a “brass neck”.

He added: “Only a few months ago he drew criticism for speculating about the pandemic having a positive effect on his party’s prospects for the Holyrood elections.”

He added: “While senior Tories have been wasting time playing party politics, the First Minister and Scottish Government are concentrating on tackling the Covid pandemic”.

The new televised Downing Street briefings are due to start in October, and will be hosted by a political appointee who is expected to be an experienced broadcaster.

Boris Johnson confirmed the move last week on LBC, saying people had liked “a more direct, detailed information from the Government about what is going on”.