Alex Salmond’s chat show on a Kremlin-backed TV channel could create the impression that the SNP “doesn’t understand the difference between good and evil”, the Foreign Secretary has claimed.
Jeremy Hunt said the former First Minister’s show on RT was bringing the “credibility” of the party he once led into question, and drew a comparison between him and Jeremy Corbyn.
Mr Hunt’s comments after a speech at the University of Glasgow prompted an angry response from Mr Salmond, who accused him of endangering national security “every time he opens his mouth”.
The Foreign Secretary was asked about Mr Salmond’s involvement with RT after delivering a speech warning about the risk of cyber attacks undermining elections.
Scottish Conservative MSP Adam Tomkins, who was in the audience, asked if Mr Salmond’s show was “a risk to British national security” or “a risk to the SNP’s credibility”.
Mr Hunt replied: “It’s more about the SNP’s credibility… I think the risk that they run is the same risk that Jeremy Corbyn runs with the Labour Party in the UK.
“Corbyn has an approach that essentially he will support anyone who shares his anti-western world view and therefore by definition if you’re anti-America, anti-Israel, anti-the west, then he will support you.”
He continued: “That is why he refused to condemn Russia over the novichok attacks in Salisbury, and I think Alex Salmond runs exactly the same risk of fundamentally showing people that the SNP doesn’t understand the difference between good and evil, doesn’t understand that for all its faults, the international order that we have at the moment has done more to promote freedom and democracy than any international order that we’ve had in history.”
Mr Salmond said in response: “Jeremy Hunt knows as much about the international order as he did about the English health service when he provoked the first doctors’ strike for 40 years.
“In less than a year as Foreign Secretary he has compared the EU to the old Soviet Union, described non-aligned Slovenia as a former vassal state and defended the Saudi bombing of South Yemen.
“His hapless meanderings endanger UK national security every time he opens his mouth, while his track record to date makes his predecessor Boris Johnson look like a competent diplomat.”
• This article originally appeared in our sister title the iNews.