THE SNP have issued a response to Fiona Bruce’s “constant interruptions” on Thursday night’s Question Time.

We previously told how the presenter had been slammed for her “unacceptable framing” of the SNP as she said it was the panel show’s first broadcast from Scotland since the party “came off the rails in such spectacular fashion”.

Appearing on the programme was Net Zero Secretary Màiri McAllan, Alba leader Alex Salmond, Scottish Labour’s deputy leader Jackie Baillie, Tory peer Malcolm Offord and journalist Nina Myskow.

Now, The National can reveal that McAllan was interrupted more than any other guest on the programme. The numbers below show how many times each panellist was stopped speaking by Bruce.

  • Màiri McAllan – 14
  • Malcolm Offord – 11
  • Jackie Baillie – 9
  • Alex Salmond – 5
  • Nina Myskow – 2

A spokesperson for the SNP said: “Despite the chair’s continual interruptions, Mairi was head and shoulders above the other BBC Question Time panellists, highlighting the great many reasons to vote SNP to protect Scotland from the worst of Westminster’s cost of living crisis and making the positive case for Scottish independence.”

The party’s president Michael Russell meanwhile said that “the blatant bias against SNP guests on the panel continued in Fort William”. 

“From the opening introduction Fiona Bruce’s hostility was evident. The programme is now a clear example of the failure of the BBC to live up to its charter and guidelines and should be either recommissioned with a company and presenter that is prepared to observe the rules and hide their prejudices or scrapped”, he said.

Several figures within the SNP also took to social media to criticise Bruce for interrupting McAllan, including the party’s depute leader.

Keith Brown said: “Màiri McAllan explaining superbly the anti-democratic nature of the UK, what Scotland needs to do to escape it and all while dealing with constant interruption from Fiona Bruce.

“Well done Mairi.”

Her Cabinet colleague Neil Gray echoed those thoughts, saying McAllan gave a “calm, measured” but also “passionate” case for an independent Scotland.

He added: “But why, unlike other panellists, has Fiona Bruce interrupted every time she has spoken?”

MP for Livingston Hannah Bardell meanwhile commented: “Fiona Bruce as per interrupting very rudely… and not even letting @MairiMcAllan finish, good on Màiri for persisting and getting her points across eloquently and beautifully.”

On the programme, McAllan spoke about the damage Brexit has done to Scotland, describing it as “the single greatest act of economic self-harm” and that the SNP’s solution was to return to the EU as an independent country.

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“Then we can live, work, love and move across 27 nations of the EU like we used to be able to”, she said.

McAllan also called on the UK Government to “recognise the democratic will of the people of Scotland” and grant Holyrood the powers to hold a second independence referendum.

She said it was her party’s job to grow support for independence above 50% because this was the only way to ensure the “democracy denial” from the UK Government would collapse.

It was an eventful show overall, with one audience member telling Baillie they would never vote for Labour “ever again” as they claimed both her party and the Tories failed to listen to the people of Scotland.

Elsewhere, Offord was accused of having a “colonial mindset” after he suggested that Scotland had been given a “generous devolution settlement”.

The National has approached the BBC for comment.