STV has come under fire for excluding the Scottish Greens from a live television debate with political party leaders in the run-up to the General Election.

The channel announced that SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson, Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale and Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie will take part in the debate on May 24.

The Scottish Greens called on STV to reverse the decision not to include a party representative in the event, due to be broadcast live from the Tramway theatre in Glasgow.

The party said the channel had ignored the fact the Scottish Greens "have more MSPs than the Lib Dems, more members than the Lib Dems and are currently polling ahead of the Lib Dems for next week's council elections and in Holyrood election polling".

A spokesman said: "STV froze us out of their general election debate in 2015 but doing so two years later after so much has changed in Scottish politics is simply bizarre.

"Patrick Harvie was on the stage in their Holyrood election debate just last year.

"Viewers will be baffled and disappointed by our exclusion, and we would encourage them to make their feelings known.

"The lack of balance given the ongoing constitutional question is extraordinary.

"The Green MSPs' prominent role in Scottish politics is certain to feature in the debate, so it's completely unacceptable that we won't be there to address references to us.

"We hope STV see sense and put on a fair debate, which we'd be delighted to take part in.

"We will announce our candidates for the General Election after the results of the important council elections at the end of next week."

A spokeswoman for STV said: "Under the Ofcom code, STV is required to consider historical election performance and our editorial decision is to include the leaders of the four largest parties in Scotland in its debate on 24th May."