A BBC journalist and a Greens minister clashed over Westminster’s meddling in the Scottish Government’s flagship recycling scheme in an “extraordinarily hostile” interview.

Lorna Slater was grilled by Sunday Show host Martin Geissler over the UK Government’s block on including glass in the planned Deposit Return Scheme (DRS).

The decision makes the Scottish Government scheme compliant with UK plans for similar schemes, set to be introduced by 2025.

But the SNP-Greens Government in Edinburgh has said the UK Government had interfered with Scotland’s democracy by blocking glass from being part of the DRS, due for introduction in March 2024.

Martin Geissler suggested ministers in London would argue the Scottish Government should be on a “leash” and that they would use this reasoning to justify their block on parts of the Holyrood plans.

He said: “Some areas, like the Deposit Return Scheme, the Westminster Government argues there does have to be a bit of a leash that can be tugged when they think it’s going too far. Is that not reasonable? This is exactly how devolution works.”

READ MORE: Major own goal for Scottish Tories as Deposit Return Scheme calls resurface

Earlier in the exchange, Geissler asked Slater whether the scheme would go ahead at all.

She replied: “Well what happens now is we have to have real look at what the situation is with the glass. I mean this is an extraordinary situation.

“Back in 2020, when the Scottish Parliament passed the regulations to include glass in the scheme, all four nations of the UK at that time were committed to glass.

“And even as recently as January, in the UK Government’s consultation, which included glass, they stated clearly that it was for the devolved nations to decide the scope of their own deposit return schemes.

“So for the UK Government at the last minute change, interfere with democracy in Scotland, interfere with our ability to protect our environment.

“At the last minute, after hundreds of millions of pounds have been invested in a scheme with glass is absolutely outrageous and creates that continued uncertainty for business that is exactly the opposite of what we want.”

Geissler said the Scottish Government must take its share of responsibility for “uncertainty” around the scheme – pointing out that ministers were forced to change aspects of it after an outcry from businesses.

He said: “Yeah, look, you’re not entirely blameless in creating uncertainty for business yourselves are you, because you’ve changed this scheme since you passed the bill because you hadn’t listened to business in the past and now you’ve been forced to do that so there’s uncertainty all over the place.”

The presenter noted at the end of his interview with the minister that the UK Government had failed to put anyone on their side up for interview on the topic.

Keith Brown, the SNP’s deputy leader, characterised the interview as “extraordinarily” hostile.

He tweeted: "Well done Lorna Slater. Handling an extraordinarily hostile interview on the Sunday Show.

“The idea that when the UK Government are too scared to defend their position (Tory transparency!) that every twisted strand of that position should be presented (with gusto) on their behalf, is not ‘balance’.”

A BBC spokesperson said: "It is the role of a public service broadcaster to ask robust questions in political interviews, when government ministers appear on-air to discuss their ministerial portfolios.”