Fears BBC decision could hit vulnerable veterans

8th November 2016 Fraser Bedwell

A statement from Poppyscotland Chief Executive Mark Bibbey.

A BBC Scotland investigation shown this evening (Tuesday 8 November, 2016) has been welcomed by leading Armed Forces charity Poppyscotland, but the decision to broadcast it during the Scottish Poppy Appeal has been strongly criticised.

Poppyscotland Chief Executive Mark Bibbey said: “While we wholeheartedly applaud the work of the investigation team in highlighting the shocking behaviour of these small, English-based organisations, we believe this programme should have been shown out with the Scottish Poppy Appeal period. We do not see how BBC Scotland can possibly consider the timing of this to be in the wider public interest. Despite not being mentioned or implicated in any way in the programme, the decision to broadcast it during a week when one military charity has a uniquely high profile will lead many to wrongly assume that the “Great Military Charity Scandal” involves Poppyscotland.

“Despite highlighting our concerns to the BBC, they were unwilling to consider moving the transmission date and did not appear to take seriously the potentially damaging effect the timing of the broadcast could have on our fundraising efforts. Unfortunately those most likely to be damaged by this decision are the vulnerable veterans and Armed Forces families who rely on our support.”

We are urging the public to recognise that the issues highlighted in the programme do not relate to Poppyscotland in any way. We pride ourselves on our transparency and operating to the highest standards in everything we do, and we are calling on the public to continue with their life-changing donations to the Scottish Poppy Appeal in the days leading up to Remembrance Sunday”.