THE BBC has been asked to explain its “obvious omission” of Douglas Ross’s use of a term described as a “homophobic dog-whistle” in its reporting of his criticism of the SNP-Green co-operation agreement.

In a historic document announced on Friday that has only to be ratified by the members of both parties, the Greens and SNP agreed to work together in government towards “transformational” change for Scotland.

Opposition politicians have been highly critical of the move, with the Scottish Tory leader taking to Twitter to decry a potential SNP-Green government as “anti-jobs, anti-business, anti-families, anti-drivers, anti-oil and gas”.

Ross’s used the term “anti-family”, which has been widely criticised as a homophobic dog-whistle. The term has historically been used to argue against the introduction of equal rights for same-sex couples.

However, in its online reporting of Ross’s comments, the BBC left out the phrase altogether.

READ MORE: Douglas Ross's excuse for 'anti-families' dog whistle just doesn't cut it

Instead, BBC News reported that the Scottish Tory leader had said the agreement “would punish hardworking families”.

The corporation’s article reads: “Leader Douglas Ross said the agreement was ‘anti-jobs and anti-business’ and would punish hardworking families, motorists, and the oil and gas industry.”

SNP MSP Karen Adam, who previously hit out at Ross for his use of the “anti-families” dog-whistle, told The National she hoped the BBC had omitted the phrase to “ensure that vile rhetoric does not spread further and cause more harm to people who are LGBT”.

She went on: "That is the only rationale as to why I can think the BBC may have removed that comment from reporting. Surely a senior politician like him should be held to account for the words they choose to put into the public sphere?"

The National:

“I am disappointed in the obvious omission of Douglas Ross’s full comment, which included the disgraceful use of a homophobic dog-whistle ‘anti-families’.

“Words matter, it’s quite often the only thing that politicians like Douglas Ross have to offer. His words can be damaging to so many communities.

“That is why Douglas Ross should be taken to task and held accountable for the use of his damaging comments.”

Although Ross has remained silent on the issue, a Scottish Tory spokesperson insisted the tweet was not meant to be critical of LGBT people and said it was “100% wrong” to suggest otherwise. They offered no apology.

The spokesperson went on: “This comment was solely about the SNP-Green coalition hammering hard-working families, as we have said repeatedly since news of a nationalist deal broke.

“By 'anti-families', we mean exactly that – the SNP-Green Government will be harmful to families of all kinds across Scotland, regardless of the sex, gender or background of those families.”

Ross has a history of voting against LGBT rights, including against same-sex marriage. Although he was not an MSP in 2014 when Scotland legalised it, Ross said he would have voted against the bill had he had the chance.

A BBC spokesperson said that their website's article had not editorialised and had "reflected Mr Ross's main criticisms".