BBC journalist James Cook has spoken out over the abuse he received at Tuesday’s Tory leadership hustings in Perth.

A handful of protesters yelled at the BBC Scotland editor as they demonstrated outside the Conservative hustings with calls of “traitor”, “scumbag rat” and “liar” heard.

The incident led to an outpouring of support for the broadcaster, with Nicola Sturgeon saying: “Hurling abuse at journalists is never acceptable.

"Their job is vital to our democracy & it is to report & scrutinise, not support any viewpoint.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon says abuse received by BBC's James Cook was 'disgraceful'

“@BBCJamesCook is a journalist of the highest quality and a total pro - the behaviour he was subjected to last night was disgraceful.”

Now, the BBC Scotland editor has spoken out about the ordeal, saying such incidents are increasingly common for those in the media.

He said such acts are "fuelled by lies" and are designed to make money.

He tweeted: “Since this incident I have heard from producers, camera crews and engineers about the escalating abuse they face simply for bringing you the news.

"It is fuelled by lies about our journalism designed to make money and to avoid scrutiny.

"It is unacceptable in a civilised society.”

His post was in response to a National Union of Journalists Scotland tweet, denouncing the protesters who shouted abuse at the reporter.

They tweeted: “We deplore the way in which James Cook was treated, and we commend the professional and courteous way in which he conducted himself despite extreme provocation.

"No journalist - and no worker - should be subjected to this at their place of work.”

During the video, which was filmed by protesters, Cook was asked how long he had been in Scotland.

“I’ve been in Scotland my whole life,” he told the woman, who was asking about the Claim of Right, a document which dates back to 1689.

“I’m not going to be starting asking you how long you’ve been in Scotland, I think it’s a bit of a rude question.”

After yells continued from the crowd, Cook said: “It’s a waste of time. I’m very much trying to have a civilised conversation with you, in our nation, which we share, but I can’t have a civilised conversation because this gentleman calls me ‘traitor’ and ‘scum’ and screams me down.”

READ MORE: Scots language poet Len Pennie leaves Twitter after vile abuse

A spokesperson for the BBC said: “James Cook is an exceptional correspondent and showed professionalism throughout the incident.

“It is never acceptable for journalists to suffer abuse of any nature while doing their job.”

Following the demonstration, Chief Superintendent Phil Davison said an “appropriate policing plan was in place to maintain public safety and minimise disruption”.

No arrests were made, the force said.