THE First Minister has called for “fairness and balance” from future episodes of Question Time.

It comes after the SNP issued a response to Fiona Bruce’s “constant interruptions” of Net Zero Secretary Màiri McAllan on Thursday night’s Question Time.

The presenter had also been slammed for her “unacceptable framing” of the episode in the introduction after 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 in addition to McAllan was Alba leader Alex Salmond, Scottish Labour’s deputy leader Jackie Baillie, Tory peer Malcolm Offord and journalist Nina Myskow.

When asked at the Bellshill by-election launch what he was looking for from future of episodes of the show, Humza Yousaf said: “As someone who has been on Question Time quite a few times myself, all we ever ask for on Question Time is fairness and balance.

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“I think Màiri McAllan did exceptionally well on Question Time. I think she put her argument forward about why Scotland is being damaged currently in this union and won’t be served by pro-Brexit parties, whether that be the Conservatives or indeed Labour.”

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.

Afterwards, The National revealed 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 previously 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.