BBC SCOTLAND’S coverage of the First Minister’s televised coronavirus statement has been criticised after the national clinical director was subject to “aggressive” questioning.

Jason Leitch appeared on the news special to discuss the latest measures announced by Nicola Sturgeon yesterday, which included a ban on visiting other households and a 10pm curfew on bars, restaurants and pubs.

Leitch explained that the aim of the new coronavirus measures is to get the reinfection rate, or R number, back down below 1. He stressed difficult choices had to be made in order to a chieve that.

READ MORE: Coronavirus in Scotland: Here’s what the new rules mean for you

Leitch told interviewer Rebecca Curran that as Test and Protect can see Covid-19 transmission is happening in domestic and hospitality settings, decisions were made relating to those locations.

Curran pressed the national clinical director on why a blanket rule had been imposed when some areas are seeing higher rates of infection than others. Leitch told her that areas like Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles have seen some Covid-19 cases in recent days.

When the journalist interrupted to say it had been a small number, she was reminded that cases can spread very quickly.

Still answering her question on the blanket rules, Leitch explained the Scottish Government believes it would not be right to have different rules all across the country

“Why not? Why can’t you?” Curran interjected.

When the expert said that it was because people travel around meaning “you can’t just close the borders”, Curran again interrupted to say: “People aren’t stupid though, Professor Leitch – they know where they live, they know the rules if you tell them when it affects their area and when it doesn’t.”

The interruptions continued as Leitch attempted to explain why measures had been taken on hospitality venues too.

Actor Colin McCredie was quick to point out his concerns with the interview.

He posted online: “Had to turn of this @BBCScotland news interview with @jasonleitch

“Horrible, rude & aggressive questioning. What was that all about??”

Hundreds of people responded to express similar sentiments.

Dr Eamonn O'Neill, a media expert and associate professor in journalism at Edinburgh Napier, responded to McCredie saying: “It's a young insecure journalist impersonating what they think a 'tough' journalist is like.

“The better route would be to ask inquisitorial questions and not adversarial ones. But then that would take thought, research, and very good listening. So taking the thespian route it is.”

Another Twitter user told the actor: “I understand that they have to question things but it was unnecessary and disrespectful. He is a medical expert not a politician.”

A spokesperson for BBC Scotland said: "We would urge people to watch the interview again in full if they can as Rebecca was perfectly fair and polite with her questioning which focused on concerns from the hospitality sector, as was Professor Leitch in his responses. 

"Viewers expect us to seek as much clarity as possible during these unprecedented times."