THE “unacceptable power grab” bid by the BBC in London over two studios currently run by the corporation in Glasgow is to be raised in the Commons in a motion calling for a new push to devolve broadcasting.

Over the last month The National has exposed proposals by the BBC’s director general Tim Davie to transfer responsibilities of the two revenue generating facilities in Pacific Quay to a commercial arm of the BBC in the south of England.

Last week we revealed two of the broadcaster’s most senior executives north of the Border oppose the plan amid concerns “it is not a good deal for Scotland”.

The early day motion praises The National for its reporting on the situation which trade unions fear could lead to significant job losses among the 150 staff employed in the studios and damage the country’s television sector more broadly.

Ahead of the full devolution of broadcasting, the motion also calls for a BBC Scotland board to be established, replacing the BBC Scotland Scottish Advisory Council.

The board would be appointed by the Scottish Parliament to provide oversight of the organisation and reflect Scottish views.

READ MORE: BBC Scotland chiefs oppose London plans to seize control as 'not best deal'

It is being put down by former Scottish justice secretary Kenny MacAskill, now an Alba Party MP.

It says: “That this House notes with concern the findings of an investigation by The National newspaper which reported that BBC Scotland senior executives have been instructed to develop detailed proposals to enable Studioworks, a subsidiary of the BBC to take over key parts of BBC Scotland’s operation, by transferring control of two of its studios at Pacific Quay in Glasgow to the BBC in London; condemns this blatant and unacceptable power grab and what is effectively asset stripping of the Glasgow studios which have been identified as a “commercial opportunity” by BBC management in London; believes these proposals may put at risk dozens of the jobs of the 150 direct employees as well as those in the wider TV and creative sector in Scotland; is dismayed at the suggestion that under this proposal BBC Scotland would lose a lucrative income stream from the studios, as well as making BBC Scotland pay Studioworks in future for using studios that it currently owns; pays tribute to the professionalism and loyalty of the studio employees which includes camera operators, vision mixers and sound engineers who work on a range of programmes; further notes that the investigation reported that two senior BBC Scotland executives have informed staff that this plan does not represent the “best deal” for Scotland.”

The motion goes on to call for responsibility for the regulation and licensing of broadcasting to be transferred to the Scottish Parliament to allow for ministerial oversight and parliamentary accountability of public sector broadcasting in Scotland.

In a statement MacAskill told The National: “These plans are a blatant power grab and effective seizure of BBC Scotland assets and must be stopped in their tracks.

“The best way of ensuring that these jobs are secured and that many more are created in the future is through passing the powers over broadcasting to the Scottish Parliament.

“These plans which would see BBC Scotland charged in future for using studios which they currently own are a kick in the teeth to the loyal and dedicated staff who work at the studios. They starkly demonstrate what happens when power is exercised by a BBC management and board remote  from and indeed hostile to the needs of their own employees and licence payers.

“It is unthinkable that a public sector broadcaster accountable to the Scottish Parliament would behave in such a fashion. That is why I am calling on broadcasting powers to be transferred to Scotland rather than ownership of the BBC studios being passed to London.

“At the very least and in the interim I am calling for a BBC Scotland board to be established, replacing the BBC Scotland Scottish Advisory Council. This would be appointed by the Scottish Parliament to provide oversight of the organisation and reflect Scottish views.

“Scottish MPs of all parties should unite to support this to call time on the BBC’s contemptuous treatment of Scotland, to save vital Scottish jobs and to ensure the fair and balanced coverage which viewers and listeners in Scotland are entitled to receive, something which has been sadly absent in its recent reporting of the Euro 2020 Football Championships."

Angus Robertson is to hold talks with Tim Davie this week amid the growing row.

The newly appointed culture secretary is also to tackle Davie on promises made by the BBC to spend more of the revenue it raises through the licence fee paid by Scottish viewers on Scottish output.

Robertson told Davie that the Scottish Government expected the BBC to make decisions “based on the Scottish public’s interests” and he asked to be given assurances that any decisions would not have any negative impact on the livelihoods of Scottish-based staff and the output of BBC services in Scotland.

​READ MORE: ‘Range of options on the table’ in BBC Scotland’s studio shake-up plans

An analysis, published by the Scottish Parliament’s Information Centre (Spice), found the BBC raised just under £324m last year from licence fee payers in Scotland, but spent £223m – 69% – in Scotland with the remaining £101m directed to headquarters. The percentage was down from 72% during 2016/17. In comparison, Wales and Northern Ireland saw 92% and 89% respectively of their licence fee revenue spent directly in those nations during 2017/18.

A BBC Scotland spokesperson said last week options were being discussed. He said: “We’re currently exploring a number of options around the management of the BBC’s studio facilities in Glasgow and have been consulting with our staff as part of this – but no decisions have been taken ...

“The BBC has recently announced plans to move more power and ­decision-making across the UK in order to reflect, represent and serve all parts of the country.”