The BBC has responded to complaints from the SNP over Question Time after the party accused the corporation of a lack of balance. 

The SNP had written to the BBC in the wake of backlash over what they saw as a lack of balance in the Elgin Question Time, which saw former MSP Mary Scanlon appear as part of the audience. 

READ MORE: Viewers criticise BBC Question Time after former Tory MSP, Mary Scanlon, appears in audience 

In its response, BBC complaints director Jeremy Hayes said: “I have reviewed the programme and I can confirm that at one point after a number of speakers, some of whom were in favour of independence for Scotland, had criticised the SNP, Fiona Bruce did ask for a contribution from an SNP supporter in the audience.

“Contrary to your recollection, the speaker she selected was not in fact critical of the SNP, speaking instead about the record of the Conservatives in administering Moray Council, and accusing them of ‘walking away’ from their responsibilities.”

Following the response, the SNP hit back at the broadcaster, saying this fact stands “in stark contrast” to the BBC’s “attempted rebuttal point”.

Responding to the ruling, the party told the BBC: “The overriding point is compounded by the fact that Ms Bruce even had to appeal for pro-SNP voices in the audience after highlighting ‘the loudest cheer in the night’ from an audience member’s attack on the SNP.

“Scotland has consistently voted for the SNP for over a decade. In the most recent elections, we won the highest vote share of any party in Western Europe. We have more than 120,000 members and an activist base more engaged than any other party.

“So it is utterly bizarre that Question Time is unable to select an audience that is neither adequate nor appropriate in relation to its promise that the audience ‘represents the nation (Scotland)."

SNP depute leader Keith Brown accused the BBC of a “desperate effort” to bury concerns about the show telling The National: “This is the second time in a fortnight that we’ve received a strange response from the BBC.

“Last week the BBC had to apologise for wrongly trying to send us to Ofcom over a misleading bar chart – that they admitted was ‘unfortunate’ – and now they are selectively quoting in a desperate effort to try and dismiss concerns over Question Time.

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

“The BBC has admitted that they are reviewing their vetting procedures for political programmes following ‘The Next Prime Minister’ debate. We had already been telling BBC bosses for months that they have a credibility issue with the audience selection process, and new transparency procedures must apply to Question Time too.”

A BBC spokesperson said: "The BBC editorial complaints unit did not identify a breach of the BBC’s editorial standards or policies and therefore the complaint was not upheld.”