THE BBC has issued yet another bizarre response to a complaint over its political output.

The broadcaster has been accused of “selectively quoting” in its reply to concerns over the make-up of the Question Time audience in Elgin – and got a basic fact wrong as it ruled against upholding the complaint.

It comes just over a week after the BBC apologised to the SNP for incorrectly referring them to Ofcom over an inaccurate image posted on social media.

The SNP had written to the BBC in the wake of widespread backlash over the lack of balance in the Elgin Question Time audience.

They cited host Fiona Bruce explicitly calling out for an SNP-supporting voice and the audience member then being selected to speak also criticising the party.

READ MORE: SNP hit out after Ofcom dismiss complaints about BBC graphic

In its response, BBC complaints director Jeremy Hayes said: “I have reviewed the programme and I can confirm that at one point after a number of speakers, some of whom were in favour of independence for Scotland, had criticised the SNP, Fiona Bruce did ask for a contribution from an SNP supporter in the audience.

“Contrary to your recollection, the speaker she selected was not in fact critical of the SNP, speaking instead about the record of the Conservatives in administering Moray Council, and accusing them of ‘walking away’ from their responsibilities.”

The contribution referred to by Hayes actually came after another anti-SNP voice – as the broadcast, still available on iPlayer, clearly shows.

READ MORE: BBC Question Time under fire for bias towards Brexiteer MEPs

The SNP have since responded to the broadcaster, saying this fact stands “in stark contrast” to the BBC’s “attempted rebuttal point”. The matter could be taken to Ofcom.

Responding to the ruling, the party told the BBC: “The overriding point is compounded by the fact that Ms Bruce even had to appeal for pro-SNP voices in the audience after highlighting ‘the loudest cheer in the night’ from an audience member’s attack on the SNP.

“Scotland has consistently voted for the SNP for over a decade. In the most recent elections we won the highest vote share of any party in Western Europe. We have more than 120,000 members and an activist base more engaged than any other party.

“So it is utterly bizarre that Question Time is unable to select an audience that is neither adequate nor appropriate in relation to its promise that the audience ‘represents the nation (Scotland).’”

SNP depute leader Keith Brown accused the BBC of a “desperate effort” to bury concerns about the show.

The National: SNP depute leader Keith Brown

He said: “This is second time in a fortnight that we’ve received a strange response from the BBC.

“Last week the BBC had to apologise for wrongly trying to send us to Ofcom over a misleading bar chart – that they admitted was ‘unfortunate’ – and now they are selectively quoting in a desperate effort to try and dismiss concerns over Question Time.

“The BBC have admitted that they are reviewing their vetting procedures for political programmes following ‘The Next Prime Minister’ debate. We had already been telling BBC bosses for months that they have a credibility issue with the audience selection process, and new transparency procedures must apply to Question Time too.”

A BBC spokesperson said: "The BBC editorial complaints unit did not identify a breach of the BBC’s editorial standards or policies and therefore the complaint was not upheld.”

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Another thread of complaint to the BBC over the show related to former MSP Mary Scanlon being invited to give her view without any attempt to inform audiences of her background.

Dismissing the complaint, the BBC said it was satisfied with its processes for selection audiences on the show.

Earlier this month, Ofcom told the SNP a complaint over an infographic in a tweet which undersold the size of the party’s EU election win was outside its remit.

The BBC had directed the party to Ofcom, with Hayes subsequently saying he was “sorry if his advice [to do so] was unhelpful”.