Former BBC Scotland boss becomes 'Yes' camp chief executive

blair-jenkins.jpg
Former BBC boss, Blair Jenkins, has joined the Scottish independence
referendum 'Yes' campaign as chief executive

Scottish news: Former BBC Scotland boss becomes 'Yes' camp chief executive

by Jamie Mann

The former BBC chief, Blair Jenkins, will be the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the pro-independence ‘Yes Scotland’ campaign as the First Minister Alex Salmond steps back from the limelight.

A seasoned journalist, Mr Jenkins, has been head of News and Current Affairs with both the STV and BBC stations. ‘Yes Scotland’ will also see former Labour MP, Dennis Canavan, join the team as Chair of the campaign.

The two high profile additions to the ‘yes’ camp come after the Independent MSP Margo MacDonald and the Scottish Green Party withdrew their affiliation with the campaign.

Scottish Conservative leader, Ruth Davidson, argued the highly publicised move was an attempt to hide that “there are deep divisions in his separatist camp,” and that "today's announcement is a panicked attempt to create a veneer of consensus."

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Alex Salmond failed to fully back the ‘Yes Scotland’ chairman Mr Canavan's comment that adding additional questions onto the referendum ballot would be “completely confusing to the electorate,” leading to speculation that Mr Salmond is actively considering a multi question ballot.

Unionists insist that the First Minister is using the potential second questions as a failsafe, should the Scottish electorate reject independence.

Tory leader, Ruth Davidson argued, “The SNP have been on manoeuvre to get a second question on the ballot paper for weeks since their campaign launch proved such a shambles and it is high time Alex Salmond was honest with the Scottish public about his true intentions.”

Ms Davidson, Scottish Labour leader, Johann Lamont, and Scottish Liberal Democrats leader, Willie Rennie, recently wrote a joint letter to the First Minister, challenging the SNP to delegate the wording of any referendum campaign to constitutional experts. The letter is reproduced below:

Dear First Minister,

Following the cross-party meeting on February 9, 2012, between yourself and the opposition leaders there was a general agreement to meet again to reach a consensus on the issues surrounding the referendum.

Since that date no further talks have been suggested by the First Minister's office.

Therefore, we would like to extend an invitation to meet with us before the end of the Parliamentary term next week, as your diary allows.

The substantial issue is the wording of the referendum question and we very much hope to have a constructive discussion on producing a form of words that the people of Scotland can have confidence in.

To that end we would like to discuss with you taking this process out of the hands of elected politicians and asking a body of relevant experts to suggest one question which can then be put to the Electoral Commission. We believe that an eminent academic of similar standing to
Professor Ron Gould should be tasked with assembling such a group which all parties can then agree.

We are sure you agree that ensuring that the public have the utmost confidence in the fairness of this referendum is paramount and we believe we can, and must, work together to achieve this.

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published this page in News 2012-06-28 16:54:00 +0100