BBC Scotland politicises public services to attack the SNP government in a way that BBC Wales does not for its own devolved government, according to the conclusions of a report drawn up by a former media professor.

Dr John Robertson, who worked in the University of the West of Scotland’s cultural industries school until 2016, said he had set out to conduct the research after watching a BBC Scotland broadcast.

He told The National: “It occurred to me one day watching BBC Scotland news that just about every story, it could be about policing, education, nursing, at the end of it there would be a statement from the Scottish Government. I thought, is that normal?

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“I wondered if it was the same elsewhere, so I did a month’s survey of BBC Wales. And that’s the major finding, I think, of this research. BBC Wales don’t make that connection. They go to the health board, to the chief of police, to the body directly responsible.”

Robertson ran a four-week survey, from May 8 to June 2, which saw him gather “objective data on fifteen measures” including whether any opposition parties were platformed, whether reports suggested the government had been directly responsible for an issue, and whether negative stories mentioned the ruling government, causally or otherwise.

He found that opposition parties were platformed in the morning news four times on BBC Scotland, but not once on BBC Wales.

Robertson said that those numbers were small, but other findings were more statistically significant.

The National: NUJ members at the BBC in England are due to go on strike next week on Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 June (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Specifically he pointed to figures which showed that of the 52 negative stories on BBC Scotland over the period, 24 made mention of the government. In Wales, the 47 negative stories about the country saw the government mentioned 13 times.

“It’s a politicising of public services in Scotland that is not happening in Wales,” Robertson argued. “Nowhere else in Europe would people think if there’s something wrong in a hospital you go straight to the government.

“This is a very objective piece of evidence. A lot of research into media bias is very subjective, based on interpretation and so on. But objectively, BBC Wales did it by a ratio of 1:2 with BBC Scotland.”

Asked if he could comment on why he thought there may be differences between the Welsh and Scottish arms of the BBC, Robertson said: “Why do I think that is, that’s more difficult. That’s not something I can prove. I can prove that objective difference in the reporting between BBC Wales and BBC Scotland.”

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The former professor said it would be normal in other parts of the world for state broadcasters to “work on behalf of the state”.

“They wouldn’t play that game that BBC Scotland plays [and pretend to be fair],” Robertson said.

“I am a campaigner for independence,” he went on. “I think I should be open about that. I think when researchers are not open about what their politics are it’s deceptive.

“So I hope this strengthens the cause and makes people realise that BBC Scotland has an agenda.”

In the conclusion of his report, Robertson argues that it presents “conclusive confirmation that BBC Scotland operates consistently and frequently to weaken the case for independence by attempting to cast doubt on the ability of the SNP in government to run the country effectively”.

While working at UWS, Robertson chaired the faculty on research ethics. He published academic articles on the media including analysis of press coverage of the Second Iraq War and the value of broadcast news output.

During the 2014 referendum campaign, Robertson made headlines with a report claiming Good Morning Scotland had a pro-Union bias.

The academic said at the time that his report suggested the show was "balanced in crude numerical terms but, in every other respect, unfair to the 'Yes' campaign and favouring the 'Better Together' campaign”.

Robertson runs the Talking-Up Scotland blog, where his research has been previously published and can be read in full.

The BBC has been approached for comment.