THE BBC have upheld a complaint of "pro-SNP bias" over the broadcasting of a book by professor Devi Sridhar which discussed the UK and Scottish governments' handling of the pandemic.

Sridhar had been a public health adviser to the Scottish Government over the course of the pandemic and her book on the crisis has now fallen foul of the BBC’s impartiality standards.

Preventable: How a Pandemic Changed the World & How to Prevent the Next One had been serialised on BBC Radio 4’s Book of the Week in the lead-up to the Scottish local council elections – with one segment discussing the effect Dominic Cummings’s trip to Barnard Castle had done to public health.

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One listener subsequently complained that the broadcast had been “politically partial” towards the local elections with a pro-SNP bias.

The BBC’s Executive Complaints Unit subsequently upheld the complaint following an internal investigation.

This came despite finding that the handling of the pandemic by the Scottish and UK governments had not been a “significant issue in the election campaign” and that “the proximity of the elections was not a bar to scheduling what was regarded as an evidence-based appraisal by a respected scientist”.

The reasoning behind upholding the complaint was that the material regarding Cummings’s trip to Barnard Castle had gone “somewhat beyond that description”.

The report added: "In the context of a campaign in which an invitation to compare Nicola Sturgeon with Boris Johnson was a prominent part of the SNP’s strategy, [it] could have given the impression of favouring one party over another."

It concluded: “To that extent, it fell short of the BBC’s standards of impartiality.”

The BBC has been contacted for comment.