THE BBC is facing accusations of bias following its Question Time Leaders' Debate amid claims they edited out laughter directed at the Prime Minister.

Boris Johnson, Jeremy Corbyn, Nicola Sturgeon and Jo Swinson took to the stage in a series of separate question and answer sessions with a studio audience on Friday night.

They appeared for 30 minutes each for Q and As, taking questions on Brexit, independence, the economy, racism, political trust and drug deaths.

Clips of the show were later shown by the BBC news programmes with the broadcaster accused of reducing the audience laughter to one of the answers given by Johnson.

The first audience member to question the Prime Minister said: "I’d just like to ask you how important is it for someone in your position of power to always tell the truth?"

In footage broadcast on the Friday night show, the audience can be heard laughing during the applause at the tail end of the question.

However, Twitter users reported less laughter in the footage shown on Saturday's News at One.

When the question is played in full once more, however, the laughter is hardly audible against the applause.

It sparked a fresh bias accusation from users on social media, with one saying the difference in the amount of laughter in the news clip was the type of thing that would happen in Soviet Russia.

The journalist Peter Oborne tweeted: "This kind of thing was normal on state TV in Soviet Russia. Should not happen in a democracy like Britain. The BBC urgently needs to explain itself.”

BBC responded and said the clip was deliberately shortened for timing reasons.

In a post on Twitter, the BBC press office defended its use of the edited clip said: "This clip, which was played in full on the 10 o’clock news last night, was shortened for timing reasons in today’s lunchtime bulletin. We’ve fully covered Boris Johnson’s appearance on the BBC QT special, and the reaction to it, across our outlets."

But many users were quick to comment on the statement issued by the press office.

Scottish financial journalist Ian Fraser tweeted: "This won't do. Removing the laughter gave an utterly false impression of what happened. The laughter was the story."

Meanwhile, the response to the First Minister's response was positive, including by viewers outside Scotland.

Labour supporter Gemma Askham, in Sheffield, tweeted: "The way Nicola Sturgeon answered the question about addiction was brilliant. She was fantastic on Question Time and – not for the first time – I'm very jealous of Scottish people #bbcqt"