SNP depute leader Keith Brown has slammed the BBC following a “dismissive” and “arrogant” response to accusations that it misled the public with an out of proportion graphic used to show the results of the European Parliament election.

The complaint, which was originally lodged with the broadcaster in June, alleged that the graphic understated the level of support for the SNP and overstated the level of support for the other parties.

The SNP’s case used the BBC’s own guidance on contextualising statistics, which warns against misleading graphics which could be used to “deliberately mislead or shock by distorting the data”.

BBC Scotland accepted that the bar chart in question exaggerated the proportion of the vote share as a percentage allocated to the Labour Party and underrepresented the SNP vote share.

READ MORE: BBC's misleading SNP graph complaint escalated by Keith Brown

However, it insisted that the other information provided in the graphic meant that the measurements of the bars, although completely inaccurate, meant that the chart was not misleading to the public.

Brown was quick to issue a stinging rebuke.

“This type of dismissive response from the BBC is totally unacceptable,” he said.

“Sadly it typifies the arrogant ‘we know best’ attitude of BBC bosses. And it’s symptomatic of the London-centric output of the broadcaster.

“Fact is BBC news is broken, and we need some fresh thinking on how to fix it.

“It’s 20 years since power was devolved from Westminster to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and yet BBC news remains firmly anchored at Westminster.”

Brown went on to state that the BBC “needs reminding that it exists to serve the whole UK, not just Westminster”, adding that it was “time for major change”.

“With all the money at its disposal, the BBC should be providing the complexity of network news and current affairs coverage required by the four nations of the UK.

“That means programming devolved to the nations with news and current affairs relevant to the four audiences. It will mean a new suite of programmes centred at Holyrood, Stormont, the Senedd and Westminster, but the BBC cannot carry on as if devolution never happened,” he said.

Regarding the response to the complaint, Brown said that the party “keenly await Ofcom’s review of the BBC’s news and current affairs output across television, radio and online, which we understand will publish in the autumn”.

In an exchange of emails shared with the Sunday National, a senior SNP aide expressed their disbelief at the BBC response.

“We are frankly shocked by your reply earlier today, and would indeed wish to make comment,” the email reads.

“The standard of presentation you outline would get you disciplined in a job in finance or engineering and it certainly wouldn’t get a student through a maths exam, but if you’re working for the BBC it’s supposedly just fine.”

The SNP aide went on to ask the BBC if it produces all of its graphics using the same methods employed in the electoral graphic in question.

“Furthermore we would now wish confirmation that all BBC graphics are produced in such a haphazard fashion, where charts are not precisely measured,” the email states.

The aide continues: “There is no question that audiences would expect the BBC to have invested in graphics software to accurately present data whether for elections or any other dataset.”

However, the exchange ends with little confidence that the BBC has properly considered the SNP complaint.

“We believe the BBC is running the risk of duping audiences with data, and your reply provides no reassurance that the corporation takes this matter seriously.”