IAN Blackford and Keith Brown have doubled down on claims the BBC is deliberately trying to “demote the status” of the SNP.

The charge from two of the party’s most senior figures has been made in a new complaint to TV bosses.

The SNP say they are so concerned that the broadcaster may be not be impartial that they have now organised staff to “commence specific monitoring” of the corporation’s news programming to “inform our complaints and shape the cultural change required at the BBC”.

Westminster leader Blackford and the depute leader Brown made the criticism in a letter to Kamal Ahmed, below, the editorial director of BBC News and Current Affairs.

It follows on from two complaints made last week when SNP attacked the broadcaster for cutting away from Parliament just as Blackford stood up to speak – three times.

READ MORE: SNP leaders launch BBC complaint over 'downplaying' party

They also criticised editors for under-representing them on flagship shows such as Politics Live and Newsnight, which didn’t feature a single SNP politician in February.

The SNP were particularly furious last Wednesday when a special BBC One show covering the Brexit debate in the Commons broadcast Theresa May’s and Jeremy Corbyn’s speeches in full, but then ditched Blackford for an interview with former Ukip leader Nigel Farage.

They were further incensed when the BBC replied to them defending the move saying they had cut away to “explain and analyse what had occurred” and that eager viewers could have watched the SNP Westminster chief’s speech in its entirety on the Parliament channel.

In the new letter of complaint, seen by The National, the politicians argue that the BBC is in breach of its “mission and responsibilities.”

It asks the corporation what “explanation and analysis Nigel Farage provided which the BBC believe merited cutting away from Ian Blackford”.

The National:

Brown and Blackford write: “It remains our contention that BBC political coverage is suggestive of a deliberate policy of BBC editors and managers to demote the status of the SNP because we represent only Scotland.

“We believe due impartiality is not served by the bipolarity of Labour versus Tory as BBC editors and managers seem to prefer, but by providing network output fit for purpose when three or perhaps four opinions are valid.

They go on to say that “under-representation of the SNP from flagship programmes such as Politics Live and Newsnight is merely one example of a failure by the BBC to represent all audiences in the UK in equal measures”.

Newsnight did not feature a single SNP politician during February, and the daily Politics Live, had just two out of a total of 79 guest slots.

The letter continues: “We could provide daily examples of BBC reporting which fails its audiences and it is our intention from here to commence specific monitoring to inform out complaints and shape the cultural change required at the BBC.

The two politicians say that “at worst, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are routinely ignored in BBC network news and current affairs reports, and at best, are treated to a tick-box mention to deflect accusation of reporting news through a London-centric prism.

“With ever more powers being devolved to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in the last decade, BBC editors and managers have allowed England to become a stand-in for the UK in network coverage. This cannot and will not be allowed to continue.”

A BBC spokesperson said: “We have received the letter and will respond directly in due course.”

Earlier this week, the BBC was accused of anti-independence bias by the man who led its indyref coverage. Veteran broadcaster Allan Little revealed that London-based journalists were working to the assumption that the Yes side was “wrong”.

He told the new BBC Scotland channel’s documentary,Yes/No: Inside the Indyref, that some of his colleagues thought “that our responsibility was to produce a series of pieces to demonstrate how foolish it would be to vote Yes”.

Ken MacQuarrie, the then-director of BBC Scotland, told the documentary: “Clearly people would come from their own perspective, possibly with their own thoughts but I felt that these were left behind, that people were doing a professional job”.