CIVIL servants visited a controversial nationalist blog almost 14,000 times in the six months before the independence referendum.

Figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats through a Freedom of Information request show that the Scottish Government employees, who must be politically impartial, accessed the Wings Over Scotland site on average 77 times per day.

Stuart Campbell, who runs the website, has been criticised for launching personal attacks on pro-union figures, as well as remarks over the Hillsborough disaster.

However, the site has built up a strong online following since its launch in 2011. During October, Wings Over Scotland claimed to have attracted 300,000 readers, who amassed four million page views between them.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said: "With civil servants racking up 77 sessions a day on this nationalist blog site you would think they were issued with a prescribed nationalist reading list. This raises further concerns that the political neutrality of Scotland's civil service has been tainted by this domineering nationalist government."

However, the SNP hit back at Mr Rennie, saying an individual visiting a website did not mean they agreed with its content.

A party spokesman added: "It speaks volumes about Willie Rennie that while the Westminster Government he supports is forcing another 100,000 children in Scotland into poverty, his biggest priority is trying to find out what websites civil servants are looking at."

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government said: "Civil servants work in accordance with the civil service code. In line with this code, it is appropriate to access blogs and news articles which represent and report on the broad spectrum of views from civic Scotland, including political commentary  and to respond directly to queries from the media and members of the public."