NEIL Oliver has claimed the SNP have “made a fool of Scotland” in a ferocious attack on the party and Nicola Sturgeon.

The TV presenter called into question the fairness of the upcoming Holyrood election as he criticised the Scottish Government over its handling of the pandemic, the education system and the Salmond inquiry.

Writing in the Sunday Times, the former National Trust for Scotland president said the SNP have made "me sick to my stomach”.

He claims that allowing Sturgeon to present coronavirus briefings while normal election campaigning is halted due to the pandemic is a threat to the integrity of May’s election.

“Any independent team travelling the world to monitor the safety, legality and fairness of elections would surely witness such an egregious imbalance and be on the first plane out of the country to raise the alarm,” the column reads.

“In Scotland hardly a soul is moved to bat so much as an eyelid. Much more of this and Scotland will be the sort of place the Foreign Office tells travellers to steer clear of. Is that the tinpot clang of a dictatorship? Do I detect the scent of bananas?”

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The broadcaster continues: “Every day Sturgeon stands at her podium and performs her greatest hits — about how hard she and her team are working, how much she cares, that she won’t be answering that question now — and there is an audience somewhere holding aloft its lighters and singing along. For the rest of the population it is a shaming spectacle. For many Scots the SNP has made a fool of Scotland.”

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It comes after several opposition politicians have called for the BBC to stop airing the First Minister’s briefings.

Earlier this month, Labour peer Lord Foulkes penned a letter to the corporation’s director general demanding action.

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Sturgeon has repeatedly dismissed such complaints. She has insisted that “what the BBC broadcasts is not a matter for me, it’s a matter for the BBC”.

She added: "At a time like this, I’m not going to stop doing my job because it is really important as we steer the country through this pandemic.”

Oliver also takes aim at the Scottish Government over its management of education and response to the Salmond inquiry, which he described as a “catalogue of arrogant obfuscations”.

The TV presenter concludes: “This is still my country, but the state of it after 14 years of SNP misrule has me sick to my stomach.”

The SNP have been approached for comment.