THE BBC has provoked fury within the SNP after omitting the party from a series of articles profiling "major party leaders" ahead of the General Election.

The broadcaster had five articles highlighted under General Election coverage on its website and news app, collected under the header “leader profiles”.

These articles profiled Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Labour leader Keir Starmer, LibDem leader Ed Davey, Reform leader Nigel Farage, and Plaid Cymru leader Rhun ap Iorwerth.

The National:

Sunak, Starmer, and Davey had their profiles go live on the BBC website on June 3.

The profiles on Farage and ap Iorwerth went live on June 4.

However, there is no profile of SNP leader and First Minister John Swinney.

SNP councillor Lloyd Melville shared an image of the five articles from the BBC News app and questioned the omission of his own party’s leader.

“Hey @BBCNews, how come you’re missing the leader of the third largest party at Westminster from this list, and the party of government in Scotland?” Melville wrote.

He added: “Farage: not an elected politician, given prominence.

“John Swinney: the *actual First Minister of Scotland*, blanked.”

After The National approached the BBC for comment, the profile on Farage was removed from the list of five.

However, it is still live on the BBC’s website.

As it stands, there are now four leader profiles highlighted under the BBC’s General Election coverage. Swinney is still omitted.

The National:

An SNP source told this paper that their party leader’s omission from the list meant the BBC owed their audiences in Scotland an apology.

They said: “The SNP is the third biggest party in Westminster, the governing party in Scotland and the only party offering a better future for people across Scotland.

“The BBC has either deliberately ignored or shamefully forgotten the choice for voters in Scotland – and they should apologise to their Scottish audience.”

The BBC’s draft General Election guidelines state that “any proposal to interview or profile party leaders … must be referred in advance, before any approach, to the Chief Adviser Politics”.

It adds: “In the nations of the UK, the respective Head of News must also be consulted.”

Under “fairness to candidates,” the BBC guidelines further state: “The intention of these guidelines is to encourage vigorous debate and to give a higher profile to candidates in general, without giving unfair advantage to one candidate or party over another.”

In its profiles on Sunak, Starmer, Davey, and Farage – but not ap Iorwerth – the BBC says it intends to have “a profile on each of the major party leaders running in the 2024 UK General Election”.


Later on Wednesday, the BBC deleted its "leaders' profiles" section from its General Election page altogether.

On Wednesday evening, a broadcaster put it back live, this time including profiles of John Swinney and the Green Party of England and Wales's co-leaders Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay.