A whistleblower who complained of a racist and misogynistic culture in a Scottish Government agency claims she was taped to a chair and gagged by two male colleagues.

DeeAnn Fitzpatrick said the restraint took place during years of bullying and harassment at Marine Scotland's Scrabster office.

The fisheries officer has taken her case to an employment tribunal and claims she was taped up as a warning to keep quiet, the Telegraph reported.

The photograph, said to have been taken by one of the two men allegedly responsible, was obtained by BBC Scotland.

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Ms Fitzpatrick, 49, a Canadian national, said the incident happened in 2010 as a result of her speaking out about a threatening and misogynistic culture at the quango's office in Scrabster, on the north coast of Scotland.

In evidence to the tribunal, she said that one of the men told her: "This is what you get when you speak out against the boys."

However, the employment tribunal in Aberdeen is unable to consider the restraint incident as it occurred more than three years before the case was brought.

The Scottish Government is responsible for the agency which acts as the watchdog for the fisheries and aquaculture industries.

Rhoda Grant, a Labour MSP for the Highlands and Islands, said the photograph was "horrific", adding: "I'm kind of speechless.

"In some of my dealings with DeeAnn it's very clear that there is a culture in that office that people can get away with what they say and what they do. It seems to me that it's out of control."

In an email from a manager after Ms Fitzpatrick raised the alleged incident, it was claimed that it was a case of "boys just being boys".

Ms Fitzpatrick claimed that over a period of almost 10 years she had been subjected to behaviour including being mocked about having a miscarriage, being told certain staff didn't want "a foreign woman", and subjected to racist language.

One of the men allegedly involved, who has left the agency, told the corporation: "These are false allegations. I can't remember the event you mention, but if it did happen, it would have been office banter. Just a craic. Certainly nothing to do with abuse."

Ms Fitzpatrick, of Janetstown, near Thurso, is understood to have been signed off from work since her father died in November 2016.

She is understood to be facing a disciplinary hearing from her employers at the end of May, over charges of being "overzealous" in her job and rude to clients.

A spokesman for the government said it had "clear standards of behaviour which apply to all staff", adding: "Any concerns raised by staff are taken seriously and investigated fully." It also said that in addition to the ongoing tribunal there were "internal procedures" underway, and it would be "wrong to pre-empt the outcome".