The proposed takeover of Sky TV has concerned a significant number of constituents and I share many of your concerns.
When considering any takeover bid of media and news outlets, public interest must be prioritised by shareholders. Further to this, a takeover bid of this magnitude must be properly and robustly scrutinised. If any plans or detail require scrutiny by the Government this must be done in a fully transparent and thorough manner.
There was an urgent question asked in the chamber on 20th December on the takeover however, as a formal notification has not been made to the Government, the Minister will not take any decision in relation to the bid. You can read the full transcript of the urgent question here.
I also tabled a parliamentary question to the Minister asking if she has plans to refer the bid to the regulator. However, due to the statement and no formal notification of the bid, the tabling office were unable to submit it. Should formal notification be given I will re-submit the question.
It is the duty of both free media and the Government to ensure that the media sector delivers robustly evidenced and balanced news to the public. A careful balance between upholding the rights of the free press and allowing fair competition to take place is vital. The Scottish Government will continue to monitor the current press regulations and work with other parties, in Scotland and Westminster, to ensure effective regulation of the media on a non-political basis.
We need to talk about democracy. The UK government recently hosted its first ever “National Democracy Week” – with no sense of irony.
We absolutely should be celebrating the 90th anniversary of the equalisation of voting ages for men and women. Nobody would argue with that.