THE Scottish Greens have not been represented on Question Time since they entered into a power-sharing agreement at Holyrood with the SNP.

The National can reveal that not a single member of the party has been on the panel since April last year, when co-leader Lorna Slater appeared alongside Keith Brown, Anas Sarwar, Willie Rennie and Douglas Ross in Edinburgh in an election special.

It comes amid continuing criticism of the politics programme for being imbalanced despite attempts in recent weeks – which have been highlighted by presenter Fiona Bruce - to address the issue.

Since Patrick Harvie and Slater became junior ministers in the Scottish Government, the Greens have heavily influenced policy, including the introduction of free bus travel for those aged under 22.

The Scottish Greens said the Question Time audience and panel should look like the country they are trying to reflect and insisted their omission was a sign of political debate narrowing.

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A party spokesman said: “It has been 18 months since the Scottish Greens were last represented on Question Time.

“Since then, we have become a party of government, with two ministers in the Scottish Government and have secured record results in national and local elections.

"Question Time is one of the most important debate shows on TV, and it should look like the country it is trying to reflect. Scotland is becoming an increasingly progressive and green country, yet Green voices are all too rare.

The National: Douglas Ross and John Swinney appeared on Thursday night's Question TimeDouglas Ross and John Swinney appeared on Thursday night's Question Time (Image: BBC)

"Far too often, these programmes underline how narrow much of our political debate is and how cosy the consensus of the Westminster parties can be. 

"Yet, with the twin crises of the cost crisis and the climate crisis set to dominate the years ahead, we need bold and radical solutions. Green voices have never been so crucial."

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Similar picture south of the Border

And it’s not just the Scottish Greens who appear to have been brushed aside when it comes to the panel, as the Green party of England and Wales have not been represented in almost a year.

Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas appeared on November 4, but there’s been no sign of any Green voice since.

On more than one occasion on Thursday night, Bruce made a point of telling viewers about the political make-up of the audience.

She said there were “plenty” of pro-independence backers and that there were more SNP voters in the audience than those supporting any other single party.

But questions were raised over that statement when Bruce spoke to four people in a row who criticised the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon’s comments on “detesting” the Tories before coming to an SNP supporter.

Bruce was also then asked a direct question by that audience member as to why the BBC had not covered more of the SNP conference and instead focused on Sturgeon’s language choices.

A BBC spokesperson said: “Question Time is rooted in politics and therefore has to achieve fair and appropriate representation from the various political parties across the UK.

"This means there will nearly always be a representative from the UK Government or an appropriate representative of the devolved government from the nation we are broadcasting from, as well as a range of other political voices.

"The panel will also feature representatives from other political parties over time, across the series, taking as our guide the level of electoral support at national level each party has, as well as any big and sustained shifts in opinion polling.”