A failed UKIP candidate who has appeared in the BBC's Question Time audience four times has claimed he was invited on to the show.

William Mitchell, says he was invited by the BBC to fill the audience with more right-wing voices.

The former UKIP candidate became the centre of a row around bias in the BBC after eagle-eyed viewers complained about his recurring appearances.

READ MORE: BBC Question Time slammed after former UKIP candidate makes audience appearance for fourth time 

Speaking to The Times, he claimed that he was invited by the show's producer to appear in the unionist-heavy audience in Motherwell last week, in part to make up a shortage of conservative speakers.

Audience members usually go through a process of applying to be on the show while answering key questions about political affiliations, voting history and if they have been on the programme before.


Mitchell claims that he was personally invited to appear on the pilot of Debate Night, the new Scottish equivalent of Question Time, but when he called to clarify details he was then invited to appear on both shows.

According to reports, he was only asked if he was a member of a political party.

Mitchell claims that the BBC knew his political affiliations due to his multiple appearances on previous shows and that the BBC sent him “offers for tickets all the time”.

READ MORE: Mark Smith: The Question Time row raises profound questions for the BBC, but it raises one big question for all of us 

Mitchell picked up just 34 votes when standing for Ukip in Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill in 2013.

Speaking with The Times, the BBC said that they did sometimes invite people to ensure a balance of views in the audience, before concluding: “We want to allow as many people as possible the chance to be part of the programme so we would not normally allocate a seat to someone if they had appeared recently. There is a detailed application process.”

This article also appeared in The National