THE BBC has been accused of “repeating the mistakes of 2014” after its top reporter gave an analysis of the current independence debate by “parroting Tory attack lines”.

Laura Kuenssberg told Politics Live that an independent Scottish economy would have struggled to cope without funds from the Treasury – despite nearly every other European country coping with the virus better than the UK.

Kuenssberg spoke after the SNP’s Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, said that if Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s new economic plan does not prevent job losses then Westminster must transfer fiscal powers to Holyrood to prevent further unemployment. Host Jo Coburn said that both Sunak and Boris Johnson had claimed “no nationalist can ignore” that the furlough scheme “has only been possible because we are a United Kingdom”.

Kuenssberg responded: “It was interesting that Rishi Sunak mentioned that in a very full-throated way, almost right at the beginning of his statement. Perhaps that’s a response to what we’ve seen … quite a notable trend in the polling numbers on Scottish independence during this crisis where we’ve seen what is normally a very narrow majority in the polling against independence. That seems to have switched in the last couple of months while the governments in Edinburgh and Westminster have been handling the various aspects.

“I think that is something we’re probably going to see more of from the Government actually … a full-throated, using any occasion perhaps to chuck in a reminder about the fact that the Treasury acts on behalf of the whole UK.

She continued: “And of course if Scotland was an economy on its own, it might have more trouble potentially being able to raise cash in the way that the UK Government has been able to do with the Bank of England as the lender of last resort.”

READ MORE: SNP politicians hit back at BBC journalist's parking charge claim

Keith Brown, the SNP’s depute leader, said: “Here we go again, the BBC is repeating its mistakes of 2014. Why oh why can’t the BBC just give a balanced analysis on Scotland? In the Westminster bubble, it’s escaped the BBC’s attention that support for independence has been rising ever since Brexit – and that there’s been a majority in favour for a sustained period. So rather than parrot lazy Tory lines, perhaps the BBC should explore and analyse why this is happening. The BBC will blow all trust with its viewers and listeners in Scotland if they carry on failing to provide any balance in its coverage from Westminster.”

A BBC spokesperson said: “Laura Kuenssberg was providing impartial analysis of Rishi Sunak’s statement to the House of Commons and the way he chose to make reference to the debate over Scottish independence. That is her job as the BBC’s Political Editor.”