QUESTION Time still has “some way to go” before it can be considered fair and balanced, the SNP have said, following apparent attempts by presenter Fiona Bruce to address accusations the show has a right-wing bias.

Bruce began Thursday night’s show – coming from Grimsby - with a statement highlighting how it was “absolutely critical” to have “a fair range of views” on the programme, both in the audience and on the panel.

She also made a point early on of mentioning which party each audience member she was speaking to had voted for, with Tory, LibDem and Labour all represented.

At the start of Thursday’s show, Bruce said: “As always, having a fair range of views on this programme is absolutely critical, not only on our panel but with our studio audience as well.

"And you know sitting there you’ve been selected mainly to represent the voting back at the last election of the particular nation we are in, so in England, but also we keep in mind local election results and any sustained change in polling as well.”

In July, it emerged the BBC had seen the highest number of complaints this year so far for a single issue after hundreds raised concerns of “pro-Conservative bias” on Question Time.

The 708 complaints focused on a broadcast on June 23 which featured RMT union boss Mick Lynch. They raised concerns of “bias against Mick Lynch / Bias in favour of the Conservative Party” during the show.

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Question Time has also faced repeated calls to explain its audience and panel selection process fully, after some people were able to appear on the show multiple times in recent years.

The SNP said Bruce’s statement on Thursday was “noteworthy” but insisted the panel was still imbalanced, consisting of Tory minister Brendan Clarke-Smith, Boris Johnson’s economic adviser Gerard Lyons and unelected Brexit Party lord Claire Fox.

Labour shadow health secretary Wes Streeting and LibDem foreign affairs spokesperson Layla Moran were also on the panel.

An SNP source said: “BBC Question Time has some way to go before audiences north of the Border consider it fair and balanced.

“With a Tory Minister, a Tory Prime Minister’s economic adviser and a Brexit Party Tory Lord this was a classic right-wing BBC Question Time panel. 

“However, Fiona Bruce’s commitment that the BBCQT audience is selected ‘mainly to represent the nation they are in’ is noteworthy and we look forward to that being consistent when the programme comes to Scotland.”  

A Green councillor for Lancaster City Council also pointed out the party had not been represented on the show for nearly a year, while Streeting had been on the panel several times since then.

Cllr Jack Lenox said on Twitter: “Just your regular reminder that the Greens haven’t appeared on BBC Question Time since last November. Wes Streeting alone has been on four times since then.

“But yes, let’s hear more from unelected Claire Fox, who doesn’t represent anyone but herself, and is never off the Beeb.”

The episode featuring Lynch attracted a formal complaint after Bruce was slated for intervening on behalf of a Tory MP to criticise the trade unionist. It was eventually dismissed.

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And it is not the only example of the show having got itself into bother over balance in recent times.

In a May episode, the panel was made up of five guests with only two representing the left of the political spectrum. One of the guests, Lucy Frazer MP, once made headlines after making a joke about sending Scots to the “colonies” as slaves.

And last year, Bruce told audience members in Hampshire they had been “carefully” chosen to ensure they were pro-Brexit.

The BBC has been approached for comment.