BBC Scotland producers have been rapped over a “skewed” bar graph critics said exaggerated the increase in alcohol-related deaths.

We revealed previously how SNP president Michael Russell (below) said a chart tracking the rise in Scottish deaths caused by alcohol shown on Reporting Scotland was politically motivated to undermine the case for independence.

The National: Brexit Minister Michael Russell  makes a statement on Article 50 at Holyrood tuesday 
Pic Gordon Terris/The Herald

Now it has emerged bosses at the corporation agreed the chart should not have been displayed in the way it had.

The graph used a manipulated Y-axis to exaggerate the increase between 2022 and the previous year.

It accurately reflected the numbers but used a larger scale on the top part of the graph in order to make explicit the increase between years.

Alcohol-related deaths totalled 1276 in 2022, compared with 1245 in 2021 – the highest number on record since 2008. The increase from last year on the previous year of 2.4%.

A BBC spokesperson said bosses “agreed” the axis should not have been manipulated in the way it was.

READ MORE: BBC pushing 'anti-indy agenda' with 'skewed' alcohol deaths chart, says SNP president

They told The National: “Last night’s Reporting Scotland featured a graphic displaying the worsening position of alcohol-related deaths in Scotland.

“The figures for each year were all clearly and accurately displayed.

“We do, however, agree that the graph should not have been shown with uneven steps on its axis, and have reminded the programme team of the importance of clarity when reporting statistics.”

Russell, a former SNP cabinet secretary, had previously demanded an external investigation into the use of the graph, which was used in Tuesday evening’s Reporting Scotland broadcast at 6.30pm but not in the later version at 10.30pm.