BBC Scotland has been called on to apologise after one of its presenters said that Nicola Sturgeon is not a “human being”.

Kaye Adams made the comment during a discussion about the UK Covid Inquiry on her “Mornings with Kaye Adams” show on BBC Radio Scotland on Wednesday.

The BBC host was talking to National columnist Kelly Given about Nicola Sturgeon’s Covid WhatsApps, which have been handed to the inquiry despite the former first minister herself not retaining any.

Given said: “Nicola Sturgeon has submitted evidence to this inquiry, she’s submitted her informal messaging, and I think we need to take that at face value, she’s done that.

“Why are we holding these people to account as if they’re not human beings? Nicola Sturgeon got a new phone or deleted her messages or whatever …”

Here, Adams cut in to say: “Because in this instance they’re not human beings, they’re politicians."

Given responded: "Politicians are human beings."

The clip was shared on social media by the @msm_monitor account, which wrote: “On her phone-in show yesterday when arguing with a caller, Kaye Adams said that Nicola Sturgeon and Humza Yousaf ‘are not human beings, they are politicians’.

“This remark is not just offensive but dangerous for all too obvious reasons. BBC Scotland needs to act over this.”

Responding, senior SNP MP Pete Wishart also called for action from the broadcaster.

“Absolutely shocking. I hope @BBCScotland think about an apology, or at least some sort of correction, for this,” he wrote.

SNP councillor Math Campbell-Sturgess, who also works for an MSP at Holyrood, added: "This kind of dehumanising language is bad enough from callers – for a host to say this is beyond the pale.

"MPs have been murdered. I have to carry a security device when working due to the threat to all parliamentary staff. She needs to resign."

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Asked for a response to Wishart’s comments, a BBC spokesperson said Adams’s intervention had been taken “out of context” and did not apologise.

The spokesperson said: "This comment was made as part of a wider discussion on the Covid inquiry and in particular holding politicians to account for decisions made during this time.

“Taking the comment out of context in this way is not a fair reflection of the discussion throughout the morning.

“Of course our presenters don’t believe politicians aren’t human, the point being made was that they also hold elected office, as was completely clear to anyone listening to the full programme, as opposed to a short clip of it.”