BBC Question Time criticised after three-time audience member slams SNP

BBC’s Question Time has come in criticism after a man appeared on the show for at least the third time - despite supposedly stringent rules around applications.

Billy Mitchell. Picture: BBC
Billy Mitchell. Picture: BBC

Billy Mitchell appeared on the popular politics show last night when it aired from Motherwell, North Lanarkshire, wearing a distinctive orange jacket.

The former UKIP candidate had previously featured on the show in Kilmarnock and Stirling.

But social media users expressed surprise that Mr Mitchell, who refers to himself as ‘Orange Jacket Man’, was allowed to be on the show so many times.

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The application form requires prospective guests to say whether they have previously been on the show, and when.

Guests must also reveal who they would be most likely to vote for in a General Election, how they voted in the EU referendum, and whether they are a member of a political party.

Mr Mitchell was selected from the audience to speak, and accused the SNP of being “hypocritical” in criticising Theresa May and the Conservative Party’s handling of Brexit.

He criticised panel member Fiona Hyslop, SNP Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, saying there was no ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ option during the Scottish independence referendum.

Launching a tirade against the MSP for Linlithgow said: “I think it’s actually a bit rich coming from the SNP talking about leaving without a deal or a strategy.

“Where was the SNP strategy in 2014?

“You didn’t even know what currency you were going to use, you were told by the EU that you don’t automatically get back in, there was no hard independence or soft independence - it was independence or nothing.

“What are you criticising Brexit about?

“You are so guilty, hypocritical about the indyref - there was no deal.

“You had no deal, you had no currency, you told us oil was going to be a million pound a barrel.

“Now you can get a barrel for a tenner down the Barras.

“No deal, no plan, absolutely useless.”

Mr Mitchell, reportedly member of Livingston True Blues Flute Band, added: “You criticise Theresa May for not listening to Brussels.

“You never listened.”

Facebook user Peter Clive said: “Billy Mitchell, UKIP candidate in Coatbridge and Chryston, member of Livingston Flute Band, can always rely on BBC Question Time for a wee bit of limelight.

“He even has the same shell suit on he wore previously.

He added: “They should just stick him on the panel the next time they’re in Scotland: he’s practically the Scottish Farage now, thanks to the exposure they give him.”

Twitter users also questioned the former UKIP candidates reappearance on the show.

User Eileen43eileen said: “His incoherent rant shouldn’t have been allowed to go on for as long as it did.”

While Burdynumnum wrote on Twitter: “He’s been on three times, had his question picked each time and been tweeted by a BBC twitter account.

“Now what are the chances?”

A BBC spokesperson said: “We are investigating this issue.”