VETERAN BBC broadcaster Andrew Neil has been condemned for retweeting a damaging doctored video about the SNP’s Ian Blackford. Neil hastily deleted the tweet from his twitter feed yesterday after the Sunday National contacted the BBC but did not apologise for the embarrassing gaffe.

The doctored video was originally posted on an account called News Addict and showed the BBC’s Nick Robinson interviewing Blackford about the NHS.

The video was heavily edited to make it look as if a flustered, stuttering Blackford had no answers to Robinson’s questions about the SNP’s record on health in Scotland.

The MP’s statements that public satisfaction with the NHS in Scotland was higher than in England and Wales and that Accident and Emergency waiting times were better in Scotland than any other part of the UK were completely edited out.

Despite comments underneath the video from other twitter users that it was obviously doctored, Neil retweeted it saying “Full throttle Nick Robinson”.

After The National contacted the BBC he deleted it, tweeting: “I now realise the previous tweet on this was edited to make it look worse than it was. This gives a better flavour. I will delete previous and also post whole show so you can see the interview in full.”

SNP candidate for Perth and North Perthshire Pete Wishart said Neil’s endorsement of fake news was “appalling”.

“This seems to be a growing feature of this General Election campaign with doctored video clips trying to present MPs saying things they never intended to say,” said Wishart.

“For a senior broadcaster to participate in this is something that the BBC has to look at and ensure that it does not happen again. We can’t have these misrepresentations being circulated by senior BBC personalities. It is reprehensible that a doctored video would appear on a senior BBC broadcaster’s tweet.”

Dr Philippa Whitford, SNP health spokesperson and candidate for Central Ayrshire, said the public had a right to expect senior BBC figures like Neil to check their sources.

“It’s welcome that Andrew Neil realised the error and deleted this thoroughly misleading tweet,” she said.

“It wrongly publicised heavily doctored BBC footage, edited by a Tory supporter, to undermine the strong argument that Ian Blackford was making – that under the SNP Scotland’s NHS is the best in the UK and we cannot allow a Tory-Trump Brexit to put it under threat.

“This should be a lesson to everyone – including broadcasters and journalists – not to tweet everything they see or that Tory sources tell them. The public have a right to expect senior BBC figures like Neil to check their sources.”

She added: “Under the SNP Government and thanks to the hard work of our NHS staff, Scotland has the strongest performing A&E services in the UK, the most GPs by head of population, free prescriptions, billions invested in health infrastructure, record staffing, funding and high patient satisfaction. Scotland’s NHS is publicly funded and publicly run and the SNP will introduce an NHS Protection Bill to protect our publicly run service form a Trump trade deal.

“The threat to our NHS from a right-wing Tory government, intent on imposing an extreme Brexit is a crucial issue at the heart of this election.

“Only a vote for the SNP can enable Scotland to lock the Tories out of government, escape Brexit and put Scotland’s future and our NHS in Scotland’s hands – not Boris Johnson’s.”

Asked if Neil would apologise for retweeting the doctored video – which was shared by many of his followers before it was deleted – the BBC said he had acknowledged the mistake.

“We don’t have anything further to say,” said a spokesperson.

Last week, Tories found themselves under fire for doctoring a clip of Labour’s Keir Starmer to make him appear unable to answer a question on his party’s Brexit policy.

The edited video was shared online by a number of Conservative parliamentary candidates, including former leadership candidate Matt Hancock.