The British government was trained in geography after failing to include Orkney and Shetland in an international advertising campaign.
Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael has written to Cabinet Office minister Steve Barclay to draw his attention to the ‘insulting’ exclusion.
The adverts, seen at various locations including international airports, exclude Orkney and Shetland but include the Isle of Man – which is not part of the UK.
But a Cabinet Office spokesperson said the image was from a ‘discontinued campaign’ which ‘should have been removed some time ago’.
Mr. Carmichael pointed to the many exporting companies on the islands, including producers of green technologies, which have a vested interest in being featured in such advertisements.
“A Matter of Surprise”
In his letter, Mr Carmichael said: “As MP for Orkney and Shetland, I was somewhat surprised that our islands were not considered part of the UK for publicity purposes.
“The failure to include the Northern Isles on UK maps – official or unofficial – is a constant source of frustration for our communities, as we strongly believe we are as much an integral part of this country as any other region.”
Former Shetland MSP Tavish Scott led a successful campaign to ensure that no map produced for the Scottish Government would exclude the Northern Isles.
Mr. Carmichael’s letter continued: “Northern Island businesses and organizations have had remarkable success in recent years in developing advanced marine renewable energy technologies, selling whiskey and other spirits in the world and producing exceptional food products for the global market.
“It would seem entirely reasonable for the islands to appear on UK marketing like any other part of the UK.”
The ‘GREAT’ campaign is the UK government’s international brand marketing campaign, which works closely with leading UK businesses, non-profits and individuals to promote the best of the UK to the UK. foreign.
Raising the issue in the Commons last week, the MP for Orkney and Shetland, called for a ‘debate on the teaching of geography, especially to ministers and civil servants’.
He said: ‘It’s a bit insulting to the many businesses in Orkney and Shetland, who are at the forefront of high tech exports, to see us shut out in this way by our own government.
In response, Mark Spencer, leader of the House of Commons, said he would hold ministers accountable “aware of their misstep”.
A Cabinet Office spokesperson said: ‘This image is from a paused campaign which should have been removed some time ago.
“We have spoken to our colleagues at airports across the country to ensure it is no longer in use.
“The GREAT campaign is committed to highlighting all four nations, including the Northern Isles, and our current campaigns ensure this is the case.
“All media space at airports is provided at no cost to the taxpayer.”
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[Shetland and Orkney left out UK Government’s advertising campaign]