THE Scottish Tories "failed miserably" to provide a gender balanced representation on two political panel programmes during the previous parliamentary term, figures reveal.

Out of Scotland’s five main political parties, the Tories and LibDems were the only parties who did not provide gender balanced representation.

An analysis of the lineups of two BBC political programmes during the first Holyrood term after the May 2020 elections showed the Tories favoured sending male representatives.

Out of 22 televised appearances on both BBC’s Debate Night and Politics Scotland programmes, between May and December last year, the Tories sent male politicians 19 out of 22 times (86%).

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The SNP said the Tories have “failed the test” in political representation and slammed that their appearances were “dominated by men”.

On Debate Night, out of the 12 episodes analysed, only one female Scottish Tory representative was featured - Liz Smith on September 29 - compared to 11 male counterparts.

Of the ten episodes of Politics Scotland analysed, the Tories sent female representatives on two occasions, and men on the other eight.

Craig Hoy, Tory MSP for South Scotland, made three appearances across both programmes, two on Debate Night and one on Politics Scotland, while fellow South Scotland MSP Brian Whittle (pictured below) also made three appearances, two on Politics Scotland and one on Debate Night.

The National:

Tory MSPs Jeremy Balfour and Graham Simpson appeared on each programme once, while Douglas Lumsden was featured twice on Politics Scotland.

Of the three female Tories who were featured - Sue Webber, Rachel Hamilton and Liz Smith - each only made one appearance. Meanwhile, the SNP and Scottish Labour provided an equal number of male and female politicians, at times with more female representation.

Of the 12 Debate Night episodes, the SNP put up seven female politicians over the period compared to five male, and of the ten Politics Scotland episodes there was an even split, with five male and five female.

Meanwhile, Scottish Labour provided politicians for nine Debate Night panels, three of whom were male and six female, and on Politics Scotland the divide was even, with three male and three female.

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The Scottish Greens made three appearances on Politics Scotland, two of which were made by MSP Ross Greer and the third by MSP Gillian Mackay. On Debate Night out of two appearances they were represented by Mackay once and co-leader Patrick Harvie once.

The LibDems only appeared in three programmes during the period analysed, and each time featured current leader Alex Cole-Hamilton.

SNP MSP Michelle Thomson said: “It is extremely disappointing that the Tories have failed to provide a 50/50 split for media appearances amongst their MSP group – in fact they have failed miserably with just one woman appearing to represent them across 12 weeks of Debate Night appearances and two in 10 appearances on Politics Scotland.

The National:

Thomson said the Tories 'failed miserably' in gender representation on political panel shows

“Our Scottish Parliament is more representative of the people of Scotland than it has ever been before. It is important that when people tune in to political programmes they continue to see that representation.

“However, the Tories have failed that test as their weekly appearances continue to be dominated by men. It is as if they do not trust their female MSPs to represent the party in front of the public.

“It is also welcome that Scottish Labour have provided a 50/50 split when they can on programmes, each political party should be making efforts to have better representation of women in politics and the Tories need to up their game.”

The Scottish Tories have been contacted for comment.