BBC reporter has dismissed claims that a photo of former first minister Nicola Sturgeon used by the broadcaster was “photoshopped”.

Philip Sim said claims circulating online that the BBC had edited an image of the former SNP leader to make it appear as if she was at Glasgow airport were “weird disinformation”.

It came after the Twitter account MSM Monitor mistakenly said that the image used on a BBC story about government and civil service spending had been photoshopped.

Reports of spending on Scottish Government credit cards showed that almost £10,000 had been spent on VIP lounges for travel for Sturgeon and staff.

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Sharing the image under scrutiny, MSM Monitor wrote: “BBC Scotland has photoshopped an image of Nicola Sturgeon waving on day one of the SNP conference in Oct 2018 onto a picture of the Glasgow Airport ‘Aspire’ lounge. This is cheap tabloid political propaganda.”

The account later accepted it had made a mistake and retracted the post.

That came after Sim, a political reporter with BBC Scotland, pointed out that the image was real and available on a Getty database.

Sim wrote: “This weird disinformation is easily disproved by a simple search … and yet an actual MSP is among those who have found the time to make a complaint to the BBC about it.”

It is unclear which SNP MSP complained to the BBC about the image.

Admitting their error, the MSM Monitor account wrote: “We're quick to complain when BBC Scotland gets it wrong so it's only right we admit when we've got it wrong.

“The image of Nicola Sturgeon standing outside the VIP lounge in Glasgow Airport is indeed genuine. Our apologies to BBC Scotland. Our tweet has been deleted.”

“This apology is extended to our many followers who have been misinformed. You trust us and deserve better. We let you down today. Sorry folks,” it added.

The account then replied directly to Sim: “It isn't disinformation, which is deliberate, it's misinformation as it was a mistake.

“We've deleted the tweet and publicly apologised, which is more than BBC Scotland does when it makes similar errors.”

In July, The National reported how BBC Scotland had been forced to issue a third correction on its reporting of the SNP and Scottish Government in the space of one month.

Later that month, the BBC's executive complaints unit insisted there was "no inaccuracy" in a map of the UK and Ireland which did not include Orkney or Shetland.