The Scotsman cartoon: Salmond and Cameron debate

Mr Salmond said the UK Government makes decisions affecting Scotland, so Mr Cameron should take part in a TV debate on the indepedence referendum.

The Scotsman cartoon 28/09/13

It would give him an opportunity to counter the “spurious” claims about an independent Scotland, he said.

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In a letter to Mr Salmond, the Prime Minister accused the First Minister of trying to use the issue as “a diversionary tactic”, telling him that he does not get to choose the opposing team’s captain.

But Mr Salmond accused Mr Cameron of being “feart” and pointed out that the Prime Minister also appeared to be avoiding taking part in a repeat of the main party leaders’ general election debates in 2015 – similar to the ones in which he, Gordon Brown and Nick Clegg took part during the 2010 campaign.

Illustration by Brian Adcock