THE SNP have sent senior broadcasters an email telling them how how to hold Tories to account on Scottish independence

An email sent to senior journalists gives tips on how to make sure Conservatives are "tied in knots" during interviews on television and radio, according to The Times.

The note cites an interview by Bernard Ponsonby, the STV correspondent. He had taken Tory economy spokesman Dean Lockhart to task for arguing there should not be a second Scottish independence referendum because the SNP had won less than 50% of the vote in Scotland.

READ MORE: Bernard Ponsonby destroys Scottish Tory's argument against indyref2

But the SNP returned a total of 47 of Scotland’s 59 MPs at Westminster (including disposing former LibDems leader Jo Swinson from her seat in East Dunbartonshire) compared with the Tories’ six. The SNP also won a higher vote share in Scotland (45%) than the Tories did in the UK as a whole (43.6%).

Broadcast sources called the note “patronising” and claimed television and radio reporters “ask everyone tough questions” across all of Scotland’s political parties.

The email from the SNP says: "Bernard Ponsonby highlights how easily Tories, who try and asset that the SNP have no mandate for a second referendum, can be tied in knots.

"When interviewing them on the matter, please do not accept their assertions and move on.

"Boris Johnson and the Tories undemocratic and untenable position should be rigorously scrutinised."

John Toner, the Scottish officer for the National Union of Journalists, said: “Professional journalists do not need guidance from any political party on how to do their jobs. How interviews are handled is a matter for the journalist and his/her editor.

“The claims of all political parties should be rigorously scrutinised, and it is not acceptable for one party to try to influence the degree to which other parties are scrutinised.”

A SNP spokesman said: "It was disappointing so many Tories appeared unable to accept the [election] result or understand what it meant.

"We simply highlighted to broadcasters that the SNP won the election overwhelmingly."