SNP Member of Parliament Tommy Sheppard has urged BBC chiefs to review Question Time’s social media strategy after a furious backlash over the posting of an anti-immigration rant.

An outburst by a woman in Thursday night’s audience, in which she called for the UK to close its borders “completely”, was shared on social media sites by the show.

Her views, which have been described as an “incitement to racial hatred” have since been viewed more than six million times on Twitter alone.

Sheppard has now written to programme bosses to raise a number of concerns about the contribution, including its “factually incorrect assertions and an inciting tone on immigration”.

He said: “I was deeply disappointed that the audience member was not challenged on these plainly incorrect assertions, but even more surprised that Question Time then clipped this contribution and posted to their Twitter site without any fact-checking or context.

“Question Time used to use their social media outlets to ‘live’ fact-check contributions from panellists and the audience, as well as giving context to each question asked by the audience. Rather than carelessly clipping these inflammatory contributions on immigration, I suggest that Question Time looks to reinstate the more informative and engaging fact-checking as part of their social media strategy.”

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Sheppard said the BBC’s mission is to “inform, educate and entertain”.

But he added: “The ‘informing’ and ‘educating’ seemed to be lacking from this flagship current affairs programme this week.”

The woman was speaking on the show, broadcast from Weymouth on Thursday night, in response to a discussion on the potential of the UK Government’s immigration proposals to impact the care sector.

She began by incorrectly saying 68 million people now live in England – official statistics estimate the entire UK population was 66.4 million in mid-2018, with England alone holding close to 56 million.

“At what stage does the panel and people think that this country has had enough,” she added.

“That we should close the borders, completely close the borders.”

She went on: “Because it’s got to the stage now … there’s no education, schooling infrastructure … we are sinking, surely someone’s got to see common sense and say enough is enough. You’ve got people flooding into this country that cannot speak English.”

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The woman, who is from London, also questioned the cost of interpreters and signs in different languages in the NHS.

“What sort of country is allowing this tourism to come in, you arrive on a plane, you get free service, can have your babies, you can just carry on having it all for free,” she said.

Panellist Ash Sarkar, a journalist and lecturer at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam, responded by pointing out immigrants contribute more in tax than other citizens.

Experts have criticised Question Time for sharing the audience member’s statement unchallenged.

Dr Nasar Meer, professor of race, identity and citizenship at the University of Edinburgh, said it was an “incitement to racial hatred” and “profoundly inappropriate” for it to be shared as a window into a programme.

He added: “The BBC shouldn’t be a vehicle for this. It should be, at best, arbitrating competing views, but not promoting views that are known to be untrue.”

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Smina Akhtar, from the school of social and political sciences at the University of Glasgow, said: “BBC Question Time clipped and shared the racist rant from that woman immediately on social media without any challenge or critique of what she had said. That is sending out a clear message that racist views are legitimate, acceptable and normal to have.”

Last year the BBC rejected a complaint of bias from the SNP after former Conservative MSP Mary Scanlon spoke from the audience in a Question Time show broadcast from Elgin without being identified.

A senior SNP source said: “This latest incident shows Question Time is out of control – and it’s high time the BBC got a grip of it.”

The BBC did not respond to a request for comment yesterday.

A Question Time spokesperson previously insisted the social media output was justified, saying the debate featured a broad range of views from the audience members and panellists. “We posted five clips of people expressing their different views on the issue, including a panellist responding directly to the views of an audience member.”

Sam Bright, an editor at Scram News who previously worked for the BBC, tweeted that the “post blatantly violates BBC editorial guidelines”.

He added: “You need some sort of alternative opinion or fact checking to provide another view. If run properly, Question Time should inform people and contribute to healthy, democratic debate.”