AN OFCOM committee will investigate the role of the BBC is playing in the Holyrood election after Alex Salmond complained to the watchdog over the “virtual blackout” of its coverage of the Alba party.

Earlier this month, Mr Salmond said he was writing to Ofcom and broadcasters to demand his party was included in televised leaders’ debates – but Alba has not been invited to take part in the first two events.

Ofcom's election committee will hold a meeting tomorrow into the complaint by Alba, as is the procedure for any complaint raised.

Mr Salmond has now launched an attack on the broadcasters, claiming even when his party has been featured in coverage, “the tone of the interviews has been unremittingly hostile” - adding a claim the BBC’s “official house style” is to “denigrate Alba and the quest for Scottish independence”.

The row escalated on Wednesday after an appearance by Mr Salmond on BBC Scotland’s The Nine following the launch of the Alba Party manifesto.

READ MORE: Alex Salmond launches attack on BBC after questions about past behaviour

In response to questions about previous behaviour the former first minister has admitted to and no suggestion of any criminality, Mr Salmond insisted that “most fair-minded people don’t appreciate the constant attempts by the BBC to re-try the case” in which he was cleared of all criminal charges against him.

Mr Salmond has now pointed to Ofcom convening what he described as “an emergency meeting” of its election committee to “consider BBC coverage or more accurately, lack of coverage of Alba” - despite the meeting being part of the watchdog's processes.

He added: “It is much appreciated that Ofcom have responded so quickly in fulfilling their responsibilities to ensure fair and balanced coverage of the Scottish campaign.

“The exclusion of Alba from the leadership election debates is deplorable but even worse is the blackout from the news on a daily basis.

“On the odd occasion when they deign to interview Alba representatives, the tone of the interviews has been unremittingly hostile.”

Mr Salmond stressed that “aggressive questioning is perfectly acceptable if part of a range of coverage” but warned “inaccurate smearing is quite another when it dominates the few interviews BBC apparatchiks deign to grant Alba”.

READ MORE: Alex Salmond demands Alba Party included in live election debates

He added: “The BBC even allow smearing of Alba by the other party representatives who are covered every day in every election programming with not even attempts by the interviewers to maintain any semblance of balance.

“Given that the BBC has fine some journalists and producers still working for them, we can only conclude that this is now the official house style to denigrate Alba and the quest for Scottish independence. Indeed it is obvious that some journalists are asking questions to editorial direction.”

Mr Salmond has also accused the BBC of having “so blatantly and so arrogantly failed” to give his party a fair amount of airtime, adding that the corporation is “now a de facto state broadcaster rather than a public service one”.

An Ofcom spokesperson said: “We can confirm we have received a formal complaint which we are carefully reviewing.”

A BBC spokesman said: "We believe that, to date, we have provided the Alba Party with appropriate and proportionate coverage.

"We have supplied Ofcom with information on our coverage ahead of the meeting of their election committee.”