DOUGLAS Ross has accused BBC Scotland of laying down an “ultimatum” over the timing of an interview that he did not take part in. 

The Scottish Tory leader claimed, in a statement released minutes before the Sunday Show programme went on air, that SNP politicians had been given flexibility over interview timing, whereas he had not.

Ross said the broadcaster had refused to allow him to pre-record the interview and that it had to be live on Sunday morning, which he could not do due to childcare commitments.

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The interview was due to take place after the Scottish Tory conference in Aberdeen where Ross urged pro-UK voters to unite behind his party to defeat “dud” First Minister Humza Yousaf.

In a lengthy statement published on Twitter/X on Sunday morning, Ross wrote: “Today there will be no Scottish Conservative appearing on The Sunday Show after the BBC refused to pre-record their leader's interview with me following our Party Conference in Aberdeen yesterday.

“We have been in discussion with the BBC about this for a number of weeks. This morning my wife started her day shift with Police Scotland at 7am, I'm therefore looking after our two boys aged four and two.

"There was simply no opportunity to do the interview this morning which is why we requested Saturday afternoon.”

The National:

Ross said he had hoped the BBC would have been “flexible in their approach” but were insistent that the interview must go ahead live on Sunday morning.

“This is despite the BBC previously pre-recording interviews with SNP politicians,” Ross continued.

“In recent months both Humza Yousaf and Kate Forbes have been allowed to pre-record interviews in the days ahead of broadcast on Sunday.

“I am proud of the conference we held in Aberdeen this week and looked forward to discussing it on The Sunday Show.

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“However, the ultimatum from the BBC that I had to choose between my family or their interview, was - in the end - an easy decision. As a husband and father, l treasure the limited family time I get away from politics and I'm sorry senior producers with the BBC could not understand or accept this.

“We all want to do what we can to encourage more people into politics, but this decision by the BBC suggests we still have some way to go to ensure people understand the family pressures of balancing being a politician and a parent.”

Former Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson weighed in, adding: “This seems particularly poor from @BBCScotlandNews given they have previously agreed to interview @HumzaYousaf and @_KateForbes as pre-records to be played out on a Sunday.”

Several other Scottish Tory MPs and MSPs also attacked the BBC while sharing Ross's statement. 

After running a short package on Ross’s speech at the conference, BBC Sunday Show presenter Martin Geissler told viewers: “Regular viewers and listeners of course will know that we usually bring you an interview with a party leader or a senior figure at conference.

“Now Douglas Ross is unavailable this morning due to childcare issues and no other senior representative was made available.

“I’m sure, however, we’ll speak to Douglas Ross soon enough.”