An SNP MSP has been slammed after he accused a prominent BBC journalist of “imaginary woes” after she spoke out about the abuse she suffered while doing her job.

Sarah Smith, who stepped down as editor of BBC Scotland last year, revealed in an interview she was “relieved” to have taken a new job in the US after receiving years of “bile, hatred and misogyny”.

The well-respected broadcaster spoke about how she was shouted at in the street and called “a *****g lying bitch” in addition to regularly receiving hateful messages on social media.

Smith said she was “demonised quite heavily… amongst certain parts of the population”, who claimed they did not watch the BBC or pay their licence fee “but seem to know an enormous amount about what I say and do on television and on the radio nonetheless”.

However, her remarks were downplayed by James Dornan, MSP for Glasgow Cathcart.

Responding to a journalist sharing the story on Twitter, Dornan hit back: “America would be the go to place to escape all her imaginary woes then.”

After his remarks were challenged, he later backtracked: “Imaginary was the wrong word to use, should have been ‘exaggerated’.

Want to see more SNP fails – Matters

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