The former BBC political editor, and Paisley-born broadcaster, attacked the National for once again including independence on its front page and ignoring SNP scandals.
Andrew Neil has launched a blistering attack on a pro-independence newspaper as he compared it to the Pravda publication, which was the official newspaper of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The veteran broadcaster blasted the National for its front page on Saturday.
His criticism came the day after it was announced that his flagship politics show had been cancelled by Channel 4, a victim of its budget cuts. It was a staple of Sunday night television for three seasons but will not air again.
Mr Neil, who is from Paisley, has always been a firm critic of the SNP, with his interviews with various nationalist figures well-known for his hard-hitting questions. And he turned this on to the National after its front page about independence.
Instead of discussing the SNP’s financial “red flags” or the ferries which are delayed for another six months, it went with MSP Kaukab Stewart’s claim that Humza Yousaf’s independence strategy “has re-invigorated the SNP.” This was posted by Twitter account “Front pages today.”
And it caught Mr Neil’s attention as the broadcaster was scathing in his criticism of it. He wrote: “The National’s front pages are a unique treasure. They need to be archived for media historians to consult in the years to come. They make Stalin’s Pravda look objective, impartial and reliable in comparison.”
He then responded to a number of Twitter users who agreed with his sentiments and shared a number of previous splashes published by the newspaper, most of them promising a second independence referendum. One person wrote: “Less of a newspaper, more of a piece of performance art.”
Mr Neil said this was “well put” before commenting again on the front pages by writing “Works of art and vivid imagination. Every one. V impressive. And so many accurate scoops about an imminent IndyRef2. Can’t wait.”
He then offered his opinion on the latest SNP scandal, the ferries which are being constructed at Ferguson Marine. The Scottish Government was accusing of “sneaking” out bad news about them the day after Holyrood ended.
The Glen Sannox and Hull 802 were delayed by another six months and will now not set sail until 2024, a full five years since they were actually meant to be in service. The cost also increased by another £20m, meaning costs has now hit more than £300m from an initial budget of £97m.
Mr Neil responded to a tweet in response to his calls for the National front pages to be archived. It read: “Could add to that, the ferries kept as museum pieces to show how an inept Scottish Executive can be.”