The makers of BBC Question Time are under more pressure this morning after it was claimed that Fiona Hyslop’s full response to a former UKIP candidate was edited out from last week’s Question Time in Motherwell.

It has been claimed that Billy Mitchell, a former UKIP candidate, was invited to appear on the show despite strict rules about application. Eagle-eyed viewers noted he had previously appeared on the show previously and had asked questions.

It has since been revealed that he has appeared in the show’s audience four times, with his last audience appearance giving him more than a minute of uninterrupted airtime to direct a rant at an SNP minister.

Fiona Hyslop responded to his tirade giving a 7-second answer before the show moved along to another topic.

However, according to reports in our sister paper The National, the full response was in fact significantly longer but was chopped out in the final edit by the show’s producers.

In the broadcast programme, Mitchell ends his speech with: “You’re losers. You need to get voted out and leave Scotland to prosper.”

Hyslop then replies: “I appreciate your point. A slight exaggeration. We had a white paper, whether you liked it or not, there were 600 pages of it–”

The camera then cuts back to the audience, and host Fiona Bruce introduces a new questioner and the debate moves on.

READ MORE:  Marion Fellows MP slams BBC Question time over 'misrepresentation of Motherwell and Wishaw'

It has now been reported that Fiona Hyslop MP had continued to reply at length, but as she was giving her answer Mitchell started to shout over her. 

Host Fiona Bruce was happy to allow him to interject, but a QT audience member told the National that at one point during the exchanges he started shouting about recent allegations surrounding former First Minister Alex Salmond.

READ MORE: National newspapers challenge BBC Question Time over fourth appearance of UKIP candidate 

Court restrictions around the live case ensured that the BBC would be unable to broadcast the footage, and therefore most of Hyslop’s response to him.

Producers of the show are now under pressure over why they then made the decision to broadcast his question without a proper right of reply, rather than just axing the entire exchange.

The BBC confirmed that there had been a cut for legal reasons, but refused to say more.

READ MORE:  Failed UKIP candidate claims he was personally invited on to BBC Question Time

Critics claimed the BBC's editing gave the impression that Hyslop was not willing to answer all questions rather than making it clear the footage had been edited. 

Keith Brown, the SNP’s depute leader, said: “If the BBC is going to maintain the confidence of the audience it is vital that Question Time is fully transparent and accountable around its decision making.

“Day by day new details are emerging about last week’s programme, all of which are deeply troubling and not a good look for the BBC.

“Question Time has got itself in a real mess in recent weeks, and we will be meeting with the BBC to outline all of our concerns.”

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Yesterday, Marion Fellows, the SNP MP for Motherwell said: “I was disappointed with the Question Time programme from Motherwell. The point of moving the programme across the UK is to give it a local flavour.

“That has to come through, which most definitely did not happen. Motherwell and Wishaw voted for independence in 2014 and has twice returned an SNP MP.

The Herald has contacted the BBC for comment.