Douglas Ross has launched a scathing attack on BBC Scotland, accusing it of unfair treatment and failing to understand the demands of being a parent.

The Scottish Tory leader said he had rejected an “ultimatum” to appear live on the Sunday Show politics programme at the expense of his young family.

SNP deputy first minister Shona Robison appeared via videolink from Dundee for around 20 minutes of the half-hour TV programme.

The  Scottish Conservative conference was covered by a three-minute summary clip.

Host Martin Geissler said Mr Ross was "unavailable due to child care issues" and no other senior representative of the party was made available.

Mr Ross said he had been effectively excluded because the show would not allow him to pre-record an interview to let him to look after his two boys today.

He said that meant there would be no Scottish Conservative appearing on the programme the day after the party held its spring conference in Aberdeen.

In a lengthy statement issued on social media, the Moray MP said he had been in discussion with the BBC “for a number of weeks”, and had explained his wife, a police officer, was working today, so he was in charge of their sons, aged 2 and 4.

But he said the programme refused to pre-record the interview on Saturday afternoon, insisting he had to appear live this morning at 10am, and he had put his family first.

He said this was in spite of the BBC pre-recording interviews with the SNP’s Kate Forbes and Humza Yousaf ahead of broadcasts on Sunday. 

He said: “We all want to do what we can to encourage more people into politics, but this decision by the BBC suggests we still have some way to go to ensure people understand the family pressures of balancing being a politician and a parent.”

Mr Ross’s statement read: “Today there will be no Scottish Conservative appearing on The Sunday Show after the BBC refused to pre-record their leader's interview with me following our Party Conference in Aberdeen yesterday. 

“We have been in discussion with the BBC about this for a number of weeks. This morning my wife started her day shift with Police Scotland at 7am, I'm therefore looking after our two boys aged four and two. There was simply no opportunity to do the interview this morning which is why we requested Saturday afternoon. 

“I had hoped given these family commitments the BBC would have been flexible in their approach, but they insisted the interview could only take place on Sunday morning. 

“This is despite the BBC previously pre-recording interviews with SNP politicians. In recent months both Humza Yousaf and Kate Forbes have been allowed to pre-record interviews in the days ahead of broadcast on Sunday. 

“I am proud of the conference we held in Aberdeen this week and looked forward to discussing it on The Sunday Show. 

“However, the ultimatum from the BBC that I had to choose between my family or their interview, was — in the end — an easy decision. As a husband and father, I treasure the limited family time I get away from politics and I'm sorry senior producers with the BBC could not understand or accept this.”

A BBC Scotland spokesperson said: “The Sunday Show always conducts party conference interviews on the day of transmission, although we are flexible about location and time. 

"In the interests of fairness and consistency we made this offer to Mr Ross or another representative from the Scottish Conservatives but that offer was not accepted.”