Equating Saudi Arabia to Putin is 'ridiculously distasteful', says James Cleverly
BBC

James Cleverly has taken it upon himself to pick a fight with Nicola Sturgeon after she defended a journalist.

It comes after BBC Scotland editor James Cook was abused by pro-independence protesters in Perth on Tuesday outside of the Tory leadership hustings.

The Pro-independence movement has accused the BBC of being biased against them since the referendum in 2014, something which the broadcaster has repeatedly denied.

Sturgeon sent a message of support to Cook on Wednesday and called the journalist a “total pro” while calling out the abuse levelled at him.

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“Their job is vital to our democracy and it is important to report and scrutinise, not support any viewpoint,” the First Minister wrote.

“James Cook is a journalist of the highest quality and a total pro – the behaviour he was subjected to last night was disgraceful.”

Now, Cleverly has hit out at Sturgeon’s comments, saying that it was not just journalists who were abused at the event.

The education secretary wrote on Twitter: “This selective condemnation demonstrates a huge failure of leadership by Sturgeon.

“BBCJamesCook was not the only person to be abused. Implying that some people are legitimate targets for abuse is deeply wrong and very dangerous.”

It comes after the former head of Yes Scotland, Blair Jenkins, has said abuse directed at a BBC journalist outside of the Tory leadership hustings was “atypical” of the way political debate was conducted in Scotland.

Jenkins headed up the Yes campaign between 2012 and 2014 and appealed to viewers to “agree on the positives” and argued it was a minority of people who behaved in a threatening or abusive way.

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