CHANNEL 4 has come under fire for leaving the SNP out of a Brexit debate due to be screened live tonight – while giving a prime spot to Nigel Farage.

An inside source claims the broadcaster had pursued Nicola Sturgeon, but editors cut off contact after party bosses questioned who else was to  appear on the panel.

The snub means that Brexit: What the Nation Really Thinks will lack representation from the UK’s second-largest political party.

READ MORE: Twitter users react furiously as Channel 4 shuts SNP out of Brexit debate

One in every 30 adults in Scotland is a member of the SNP and, with 125,500 people signed up, the total outnumbers that of the Tories.

Tonight’s show, to be made in  Birmingham and hosted by Krishnan Guru-Murthy, centres around an  exclusive poll for Channel 4 that promises to “reveal where the British public now stand on all key aspects  of Brexit”.  This includes immigration, the economy and Northern Ireland.

Taking part are Justice Secretary David Gauke; shadow trade secretary Barry Gardiner; Green MP Caroline Lucas, representing The People’s Vote; and former Ukip leader Nigel Farage, representing Leave Means Leave.  The panelists will be asked the question: “With the nation divided over Brexit, would a referendum on the terms of the UK’s deal provide unity?”

It is understood that Channel 4 – which promised more representative content when launching its 4 All The UK strategy earlier this year – “went silent” after the SNP said Sturgeon would only appear alongside a “like-for-like” politician, and that another representative could be put forward if  less senior figures from other parties were involved.

A spokesperson for Channel 4  told The National: “We did not  disinvite the SNP. We were not  inviting participants to represent  specific political parties, but to  reflect specific viewpoints on the Brexit debate. 

“It was on that basis that we approached Nicola Sturgeon – as a senior politician calling for a new referendum, rather than to represent the SNP specifically. 

“As this invitation was turned down, the production team approached alternatives to offer that perspective. An appropriately wide range of significant views will be included within the programme and given due weight.”

Stephen Gethins, the SNP’s Europe spokesperson, said: “The SNP have been leading in trying to find a cross-party consensus and a way through the chaos created by Brexit. 

“The SNP has been at the heart of efforts by parties at Westminster to find compromises, most recently taking a cross-party delegation to meet Michel Barnier. 

“In a parliament of minorities, reaching out across party divides  is vital and a key part of finding  a solution. 

Gethins added: “The UK is  not the two-party state many  presume it to be, but a plural  democracy with different parties leading in each of its constituent  nations. Channel 4 needs to catch  up with that.” 

READ MORE: Twitter users react furiously as Channel 4 shuts SNP out of Brexit debate

SNP Students have turned down an invitation to appear in the audience of the show in protest at the channel’s “deeply disappointing” decision not to include a representative of the party.

Citing Scotland’s 62% Remain vote, Michael Gibbons, the group’s national convener, branded the organisation’s invite a “box-ticking  exercise”, stating: “The editorial decision to exclude Scotland’s voice from this debate makes a mockery of the programme’s title, in which  ‘nation’ I presume means UK – ie, England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. 

“More significantly it seriously undermines your credentials as a broadcaster in Scotland that is meant to be ‘best suited to serve all of the UK’.”