By a Newsnet reporter
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond has rebuked a BBC interviewer who claimed that a loan guarantee given to the owners of the Grangemouth plant would not have been possible without a London based Government.
BBC Radio 4, World at One presenter Edward Stourton made the claim in an interview with Mr Salmond shortly after Ineos announced a U-turn on their earlier decision to close part of the plant.

Speaking following the announcement that Ineos had reversed their decision to close down the Grangemouth petrochemical plant, the BBC presenter pressed Mr Salmond to admit that the deal was possible only due to the critical role played by Westminster.

Referring to a loan guarantee issued by the UK Government, Mr Stourton said: "The plain fact this could not have happened without the London Government could it?"

The UK Government issued a loan guarantee to the owners of the Grangemouth facility which meant that Ineos could borrow £300m in order to invest in a new ethane processing facility at Grangemouth.

However Mr Salmond hit back at the BBC presenter's claim and accused him of mixing politics with economics.

The First Minister pointed out that an independent Scotland could more than afford to issue such loan guarantees.  Mr Salmond also explained that the £9m in cash the Scottish Government were giving Ineos in the form of a grant cost far more but that as things stood similar loan guarantee powers were being withheld from the Scottish Parliament.

He said: "What's a loan guarantee worth?  It's worth about one million in every hundred million you guarantee."

Mr Salmond added: "If we had the powers to give loan guarantees in Scotland just now we'd add that to our armoury of industrial policy because it's a lot cheaper than the powers we currently have when actually giving loans or giving grants."

However despite the clarification, the BBC presenter continued to suggest Scotland could not survive without Westminster.  Mr Stourton added: "A lot of people will look at this and say it's an illustration of the fact that Scotland needs the heff that comes with being part of a bigger economic power."

The claim brought a contemptuous rebuke from an exasperated First Minister who described it as "ridiculous" and added that the BBC appeared to be "fixated" with the idea that only the UK Government is able to provide such loan guarantees.

Mr Salmond warned the BBC presenter against playing constitutional politics with the Grangemouth crisis and suggested those who persisted faced being left "with egg all over their face".


# From The Suburbs 2013-10-26 20:20
The BBC is the unpaid supporter of Better Together at tax payers expense.

Make your views known here:
# rabkae 2013-10-26 21:40
Sorry, but if they don't even bother to enforce their existing guidelines, (, then I don't see them bothering to enforce any "additional guidelines" specific to the referendum.

The expression window dressing comes to mind.

Stop paying the Licence Fee, and be sure to tell the Pacific Quay cabal the reason why.
# Clydebuilt 2013-10-26 22:19
It's a waste of time and energy complaining to the BBC. Do you think they don't know what's going on.
Infact often they learn from the complaints.
Spread the word .....YES, by all means at your disposal.
# WRH2 2013-10-26 22:46
Its time for all of us to take FM's lead and correct this kind of nonsense as forcefully as possible. I'm not suggesting being aggressive, just get over the message that we are not prepared to let misinformation go unchallenged. I've done this a couple of times and it does work. Keep it short and simple and use words such as nonsense and rubbish. Works wonders! Causes maximum embarrassment.
# Old Smokey 2013-10-26 22:50
Apparently the BBC's royal charter comes up for renewal in 2016
Is that kismet? Not bad timing I think
# call me dave 2013-10-26 23:23
What can you say about this disgrace!
# rob4i 2013-10-27 03:24
Nothing new here, just the rantings of a misguided Unionist within a Unionist media, misguided in the sense that their self-serving interest outweighs the best interests of the ordinary Scot on the street.

Hence the huge Scottish democratic deficit.
# Willow 2013-10-27 10:44
This was the tone of many of the BBC correspondents throughout the day when it was announced that the plant was to be saved.

Yet while the Scottish Government were in talks with prospective buyers as plan B, Ed Davey was talking about no financial "bail out" & Jobcentre Plus.

Still not a squeak or tweet from Scottish Labour, leader Lamont or her deputy Sarwar.

The Grangemouth/Falkirk Deans/Unite story is still on going.
# Macart 2013-10-27 12:20
Well said Alex, about time they got a taste of their own medicine. :)
# call me dave 2013-10-27 13:39
Ken MacDonald BBC Radio Scotland this morning. (Mr Bateman's old prog)

Interesting stuff Grangemouth at the beginning but on-line sites mentioned.
NNS and WoS 40mins in.
# call me dave 2013-10-27 15:42
Sunday politics show BBC: Starts 38mins in. Grangemouth & Unions.
Canavan & Cochrane 43 mins . Lamont 54mins Dunfermline & Grangemouth.
# cjmasta 2013-10-28 14:58
rob41, nail on the head!
I truly believe that if we don`t show the Scottish people what the media in this country are up to then it may be a lost cause.
They peddle miisinformation in the name of British Nationalism.
Democracy doesn`t even come into it!
Newsnet, should there be a button to press and share comments?
I know all comments wont be the most eloquent but it`s the culture of comments pages!

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