THE runner-up on Channel 4’s Make Me Prime Minister has insisted the show was “rigged against her” because she supported Scottish independence.

Kelly Given has revealed how a group of 50 people selected to choose the winner from a final live debate was at least two-thirds Unionist and she felt she had “no chance” of winning the contest.

She also told The National how SNP voters were flown down to London - where the debate was filmed - to ensure balance within the group but many were then not permitted to cast a vote when they got there.

Given said she felt “misrepresented” throughout the series as many moments where she spoke about independence were cut out of the final edit.  

Given said: “I felt very angry about the whole situation.

“It was just so frustrating to have won every challenge [in the series] and to have done the best out of everyone and to then lose because the audience was 44% Tory [and around 20% Labour].

“In a show that was supposed to find an alternative prime minister, I’m not sure how that was the best voting system. It was ludicrous.

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“I felt the show was rigged against me. There was no way I was going to win and the set-up was flawed.

“I know quite a few people in the SNP and some had messaged me after saying ‘we turned up and they took our bands off us and didn’t let us vote’. I don’t know one person from the SNP that got to vote.”

Three female contestants made it to the final of the six-part show where they had to produce a campaign video, spread their message on a battle bus and hold their own in a live debate.

Given expressed her view that Scotland should be given a choice when it comes to independence and stressed the UK should be a voluntary Union in the debate after contestants were asked by an audience member how they planned to protect the Union.

The 25-year-old said she was “blindsided” by the question after producers “flip-flopped” over whether independence was going to be covered.

The National: Kelly Given came second on Make Me Prime Minister, but insists she had 'no chance' of winningKelly Given came second on Make Me Prime Minister, but insists she had 'no chance' of winning (Image: Newsquest)

She said she knew she would lose the contest when she revealed her views but insisted she was not prepared to compromise on them for a £25,000 prize.

“On the day of the final, we [her and producers] had a conversation, and they said they weren’t going to ask about independence because that would put me at a disadvantage," said Given.

“Then later they said they were going to ask about it, and then they changed back to say they weren’t, and then the question came up.

“I knew I was going to lose the competition, but it was more important to stand up and say that [I supported independence] on C4 in a prime time slot.

“I was never going to stand up there and pretend I didn’t support independence for the sake of £25,000.”

Given added: “Throughout the show they didn’t really show any bits where I talked about independence.

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“I talked about how every country should have the right to self-determination, and none of it made the edit.

“Independence is my defining principle in politics. It felt like a misrepresentation of me because from watching the show you wouldn’t know I supported independence until the last episode.”

Channel 4 has said originally a group of 100 from the audience was due to vote but many people failed to turn up for the debate due to train strikes.

The group then had to be reduced in size but still had to reflect the way people voted in the last general election, leading to many SNP voters being omitted.

However, the broadcaster said there were SNP voters within the group and insisted the Union question put to Kelly was unplanned.

A spokesperson for the show said: “Each vote was independently adjudicated and voters were selected to ensure the voting audience was a true representation of how the UK voted in the last general election.

“The question from a member of the audience about Scottish independence was not pre-planned.

“We refute any suggestion that the competition was rigged in anyone's favour.”

Given – who was diagnosed with autism a few years ago - also told The National she was annoyed by the “ignorance” around her condition during the show’s filming.

While shooting her campaign video in a busy London street, Given had a meltdown as she struggled with overstimulation and burnout after back-to-back filming for seven days.

She said she was disappointed with how Channel 4 chose to cover her emotional state.

She said: “I was shouting from the rooftops every episode I was autistic and what my needs were and when I needed those needs to be met, they weren’t.  

“I had reached burnout. There were tears, I was pulling my hair, and it’s a shame they edited that out because that is what happens to an autistic person when they are overstimulated.

“It would’ve been powerful to have seen it.”