FORMER BBC Scotland editor Sarah Smith has said she is relieved to walk away from the “bile, hatred and misogyny” of Scottish politics.

Smith, who was appointed as BBC North America editor in November, claims the abuse she received while she undertook the role in Scotland in 2016 has damaged the broadcaster's reputation for impartiality.

The comments emerged in an academic paper written by Rhys Evans, head of corporate affairs and public policy at BBC Wales, titled "Making news in multinational states". The paper was also sponsored by the BBC and published by the Reuters Institute at the University of Oxford.

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Smith claimed that she was subjected to vile abuse both online and in person but the paper notes she was “careful not to identify a specific section of the political community”.

It added that Smith recounted a “difficult experience” adding that she was “demonised quite heavily[...] amongst certain parts of the population”.

Smith told Evans that most critics claimed not to watch the BBC or pay the licence fee, “but seem to know an enormous amount about what I say and do on television and radio nonetheless”.

The BBC journalist also claimed that she was a target for abuse because of her father, former UK Labour leader John Smith.

She said: “He was a very well-known politician, he was a Unionist, people like to therefore assume that my politics must be the same as my father's despite me being, one, a different person, and him having been dead for 27 years.”

The National: GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 12:  A general view of BBC Scotland premises at Pacific Quay on February 12, 2011 in Glasgow, Scotland. A row continues over plans that the BBC plans to move the Question Time programme from London to Glasgow. It is thought

It is also noted in the report that Smith believes her gender was an “aggravating feature” of her experience.

The paper continued: “People, she said, would ‘...roll their car windows down as they drive past me in the street to ask me, ‘What f****** lies you're going to be telling on TV tonight, you f****** lying b****’.

“This ‘vitriolic attention’, Smith told me, happened ‘most of the time’ if set up to do a live television contribution. Smith also told me she has ‘pretty much stopped tweeting’ for fear of attracting the ‘s**t I can live without’.”

Smith also said that she fears the online abuse directed at her has damaged the BBC’s reputation for impartiality.

She said: “I worry a lot that the criticism, bile and hatred […] that I attract from some quarters is damaging the reputation of the BBC.”

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Smith also said that she was “relieved” to be leaving Scotland for the US where she “won’t be famous at all” and instead be “gloriously anonymous”.

She said: “Nobody will have any idea who my father is. So, the misogynistic idea that I can't have any of my own thoughts anyway, or rise above my family connections to report impartially will no longer be part of the discourse.”

The BBC, Smith added, will be under “enormous scrutiny” during a second independence referendum campaign, and that reports would be “politicised and weaponised by both sides”.

Smith hinted at her reasons for resignation, adding that the corporation would attract “such an enormous amount of incoming criticism that it would be almost a full-time job to manage that, never mind trying to cover events”.

We previously told how James Cook is taking over the brief of Scotland Editor after Smith’s departure.