THE BBC must take “a very hard look at how it is editorialising” in its reporting of the impact of Brexit, Michael Russell has said.

The SNP president suggested the broadcaster was looking to “airbrush out of existence” the knock-on effects of the UK’s exit from the EU.

It comes as Alastair Campbell, the former No 10 communications boss, suggested to The National that there may have been “some sort of policy decision” to reduce mention of Brexit in reporting.

The pair's comments come after The National reported on a BBC broadcast including National Farmers Union (NFU) Scotland president Martin Kennedy which appeared to have been edited to remove any mention of Brexit.

READ MORE: BBC accused of editing out reference to Brexit in food shortages news

The alleged incident seemingly forms part of a wider pattern of ignoring the impact of the exit from the EU which Campbell said he notices “all the time”.

In one story published in February, the BBC reported on the “major staff recruitment and retention challenges” facing NHS Scotland, highlighted by an Audit Scotland report.

The article quoted Scottish Tory health spokesperson Dr Sandesh Gulhane as saying: "There are huge vacancies across the health service yet we can't fill them because we don't have enough trained people to do so."

However, there was no mention of the staffing challenges being linked to Brexit, despite the Audit Scotland document in question explicitly highlighting how it and previous reports showed “the UK’s departure from the EU could further reduce the pool of workers available”.

The National: NFU Scotland president, Martin Kennedy (Photo: Paul Watt)

In another incident involving NFU Scotland, a BBC report pointed to the immense pressure on Scotland’s farmers. It quoted Kennedy (above) warning of the impact of a combination of factors “including costs, labour shortages and climate change”. Brexit was not mentioned.

However, NFU Scotland’s coverage of that same speech from Kennedy, published the previous day, saw the union president explicitly mention Westminster’s Internal Market Act and Subsidy Control Bill, imbalanced supply chains, unscrutinised trade deals, and continued uncertainty around future support, all of which are directly linked to Brexit.

Quoting this same speech in a broadcast in March, the BBC’s Martin Geissler asked Kennedy what he had meant when he’d told the Scottish Government to “take its head out of the sand” – only to be told the reference had been to Westminster.

READ MORE: BBC Scotland wrongly claims guest had attacked Scottish Government

Former Brexit secretary Russell said: “There’s a very strong view in Scotland that Brexit was a disastrous mistake, and the consequences that we warned about from the beginning are now happening.

"Whether it is the BBC refusing to acknowledge that warning, or whether it is the BBC pretending that we’ve all moved on, they really need to take a very serious look at how they are covering the consequences of Brexit because they aren’t going to go away.

"If BBC Scotland think they can airbrush it out of existence then they really need to take a very hard look at how they are editorialising their stance."

The National: Alastair Campbell

Campbell (above) said: "It strikes me that, and I could be wrong, that there’s been some sort of policy decision been taken."

He added: “I think the BBC knows that the Government doesn’t want them to bang on about Brexit and so they don’t. That’s how Orwellian intimidation works.”

Tony Blair’s former communications chief further told The National he had noticed a pattern of playing down Brexit in recent stories about the chaos at the Port of Dover.

Queues of more than 20 miles have led to delays longer than a day for trucks looking to carry goods into the EU, with one report on the BBC pinning the blame on “bad weather, Easter holidays and P&O Ferries routes being suspended”.

READ MORE: Post-Brexit chaos at Port of Dover costing Scots business '£800 per lorry'

Campbell said the exclusion of Brexit was “incredible”, especially given how the head of the British Ports Association, Richard Ballantyne, was on record as saying “Brexit scenarios” were contributing to the issue.

Furthermore, logistics firm DFDS confirmed reports that it was sending ferries which were not full across the Channel as traffic could not get through the customs checks fast enough.

Russell told The National: “It’s an inevitable consequence of Brexit. They were warned that the slightest disruption would have a much greater effect than it would have had before Brexit because it takes more time to process now.

“Brexit exacerbates problems and creates other problems, and there’s no doubt about it.”

Campbell added: “When we didn’t know what was going to happen with Brexit the debate was never-ending right across the BBC, right across ITV, right across Sky, right across the papers. Now it’s actually happening with real-world consequences, there’s barely a mention of it.

“The other thing I can absolutely guarantee is if Brexit was going well, we wouldn’t hear the end of it!”

The BBC declined to comment.