CAMPAIGNERS against anti-independence reporting in the BBC have hit out after it emerged the broadcaster’s former political editor Nick Robinson had two private meetings with David Cameron in the weeks leading up to last year’s referendum.

Robinson, who has since stood down as the channel’s political editor, met with the Prime Minister on August 28 and 31 last year, just weeks before Scotland went to the polls for the historic vote on September 18.

However, Scottish Government records of the former First Minister show no meetings between Robinson and Alex Salmond for the whole of August or September last year, raising further concerns that the journalist was not making the same degree of effort to research or broadcast reports that were fair to the Yes side.

Many Yes campaigners blame BBC reporting for losing the referendum that resulted in a 55 per cent to 45 per cent win for the pro-Union Better Together side.

“This is further evidence that Robinson wasn’t even interested in hearing the pro-independence argument,” said Gordon Ross, an SNP member who campaigns against anti-independence bias on the BBC.

“It shows that in the days ahead of the vote Robinson was cosying up to David Cameron to listen to his anti-independence propaganda while failing to meet with the then-First Minister to hear the case for Scottish independence and give his reports some balance.”

Earlier this year Salmond said Robinson should be “embarrassed and ashamed” of his coverage of the independence referendum when he hit back after the former BBC political editor said journalists were given “Putin-like” treatment by Yes campaigners.

Salmond described the comments as “ludicrous”.

Robinson, who has since joined Radio 4’s Today programme, was accused of bias in the run up to last year’s independence referendum after getting into a high-profile confrontation with Salmond over the BBC’s coverage of a story about the possible relocation of RBS.

The spat at a press conference in Edinburgh resulted in the then SNP leader accusing Robinson of bias and Yes campaigners calling for him to be sacked, carrying a giant banner with his face on it at a mass protest outside BBC Scotland’s Glasgow headquarters.

Details of the Cameron-Robinson meetings emerged in documents published by Whitehall over the weekend.

Released under the UK Government’s transparency procedures, it revealed that August 28, three weeks before polling day, was a particularly busy 24 hours in the Prime Minister’s diary.

According to the record, he met Robinson as well as Rona Fairhead from the BBC Trust for a “general discussion”.

On the same day, Cameron had talks with Gordon Smart, editor of the Sun’s Scottish edition.

He also had a “round-table” with Scottish business owners Castle Precision Engineers, Star Equestrian, Jack Perry, MacTaggart, Scott & Co Ltd, Maxxium UK, Ian Bankier, the Celtic chairman, and Malcolm Group.

Later, the PM had another general discussion with the CBI as well as CBI Scotland, Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, the Weir Group PLC, Standard Life, M Computer Technologies, ScottishPower and GPW.

Three days later, Cameron had another “general discussion” with Robinson, Martin Ivens of the Sunday Times and the Economist.

Last night a BBC spokeswoman said the broadcaster stood by its reporting of the independence referendum campaign.

She said: “We focused on delivering high-quality journalism that outlined the arguments and looked at all the issues in a balanced and impartial way. We believe we achieved that.”