RUTH Wishart has lifted the lid on her experience as a Question Time panellist in England.

The veteran journalist writes in her Sunday National column that her experience on the show, filmed this week in Rugby, Warwickshire, gave her “some fresh insight” into how incredibly ignorant [Labour and the Tories] are in general about Scottish politics and sensibilities”.

She appeared alongside Private Eye editor Ian Hislop, and Labour MP Stephen Kinnock, the latter of whom told the audience he expected to see independence “withered on the vine” following Nicola Sturgeon’s resignation.

Wishart wrote: “Spending part of this week down south gave me some fresh insight not just into how little regard the two major London-run parties have for Scottish concerns, but how incredibly ignorant they are in general about Scottish politics and sensibilities. 

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“For an instance, I rather like Stephen Kinnock, son of Neil, a generally decent bloke with generally liberal instincts. But Stephen…opined on the Question Time panel that he hoped independence ‘withered on the vine’ now, and that the Scottish government stopped being obsessional about it.”

But Wishart pointed out the movement for independence predates Sturgeon and mocked suggestions the Scottish Government were “obsessed” with the issue – pointing out more hardline Yessers wanted more focus on the issue than SNP high command was willing to give.

She added: “This is a constant refrain in England and the England-based media  – the not at all veiled irritation that a party founded to gain independence should be obsessional about gaining it.

“How very dare they prioritise their core mission? Though in truth, for folks like myself, a bit more evidence of supposed obsession would have been very welcome.”

And she highlighted the moment the audience was asked whether they supported independence: “A word too about the English Question Time audience, ethnically diverse in one sense, yet relentlessly English with it.

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“When Fiona Bruce asked them if anyone favoured Scottish Independence, not a solitary hand was raised.

“They seemed positively baffled at the very concept which, I suppose, is less than surprising if you think a) the UK is one country and b) England and ‘Great’ Britain remain largely interchangeable.

“They don’t think Scottish independence is worth their consideration because, frankly, they never think about it at all. Though, interestingly, they all seemed to know about brand Sturgeon.”

You can read the whole thing in this week's Sunday National, online and in all good newsagents.