A failed UKIP candidate who has appeared in the BBC's Question Time audience four times has claimed he was invited on to the show to fill the audience with more right-wing voices.

William Mitchell, who has now appeared on the show more often than most SNP politicians, became the centre of a row around bias in the BBC after eagle-eyed viewers complained about his re-curring appearances.

According to The Times, the loyalist claims that he was invited by the show's producer to appear in the unionist-heavy audience in Motherwell last week, in part to make up a shortage of conservative speakers.

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Audience members usually go through a process of applying to be on the show while answering key questions about political affiliations,voting history and if they have been on the programme before.

Mitchell claims that he was personally invited to appear on the pilot of Debate Night, the new Scottish equivalent of Question Time, but when he called to clarify details he was then invited to appear on both shows.

He was only asked if he was a member of a political party.

Mitchell claims that the BBC know his political affiliations due to his multiple appearances on previous shows, and that the BBC sent him “offers for tickets all the time”.

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He has also used his social media to post support for the Ulster Young Militants, the youth wing of unionist terrorist organisations, the UDA, and he’s no fan of catholics, using the word “Taig” in one online comment.

Mitchell picked up just 34 votes when standing for Ukip in Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill in 2013.

The BBC said that they did sometimes invite people to ensure a balance of views in the audience, before concluding: “We want to allow as many people as possible the chance to be part of the programme so we would not normally allocate a seat to someone if they had appeared recently. There is a detailed application process.”