SNP MP John Nicolson has said he was “booked and then cancelled” for a BBC radio programme after he grilled the Government’s choice to become the corporation’s new chair.

The MP for Ochil and South Perthshire was among those to question Samir Shah during his hearing with the Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

Nicolson asked Shah if there should be members of political parties on the BBC board, which was initially met with a long pause.

He replied: “I’m very clear about news and current affairs and I’m not so clear about the board.”

Shah then later added he would look into it and “come up with some view on it” while Nicolson said he wanted to hear the view before Shah was appointed to the role.

In a post on Twitter/X, the SNP MP explained that he was initially asked to go on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme before this was cancelled.

He said: “I was booked and then cancelled by the BBC #r4today programme for tomorrow (Thursday) morning after grilling the Tory choice for BBC chair today.

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“The BBC producer cited time issues. Well – the show is only three hours long… Have a look at the BBC producer texts to me. Almost funny.”

The images showed a series of texts in which Nicolson is initially asked to appear on the programme on Thursday morning to speak about Shah’s appearance in front of the committee.

The MP then said he would appear on the programme before a separate image showed another text cancelling his appearance.

It said: “Hi John, I’m a producer for the Today programme, really sorry but we won’t be able to have you on the programme tomorrow. Have an issue with our timings.”

Specifically, Nicolson said he had asked Shah about Robbie Gibb, who previously worked as Theresa May's press secretary. 

Former Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis (below) previously described Gibb, who was appointed to the BBC's board by Boris Johnson's government, as an "active agent of the Conservative Party," who was shaping the corporation's content. 

The National:

Asked if he thought it was appropriate that Gibb "lectured" Newsnight staff on how to be more impartial, Shah said: "I do not need to hear everyone else's account of it, including Sir Robbie's account of it. 

"I cant, if I were chair, make a decision without actually gathering the facts and evidence yourself."

He also added that it would not be appropriate for members of the BBC board to lobby the culture secretary over who should be the head of Ofcom. 

It comes after Nadine Dorries alleged in her recent book that Gibb lobbied her when she was in the post to appoint Lord Gilbert to the role. 

"It would not be anything to do with them, Ofcom are the regulators," he said. 

The BBC declined to comment on Nicolson's accusations. 

The National: Gary Lineker (Yui Mok/PA)

Elsewhere, Shah had said that Gary Lineker’s (above) recent tweets about politicians appear to breach the BBC’s social media guidelines.

The former England footballer hit back at Grant Shapps after the Defence Secretary questioned whether the Match of the Day presenter should express political views.