David Mundell: Alex Salmond should quit RT show as a service to Scotland

Alex Salmond on his RT show
Alex Salmond on his RT show
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Alex Salmond should quit his TV show on Russian-state funded broadcaster RT as a "great service to Scotland", according to  Scottish Secretary David Mundell.

The UK cabinet minister also hit out at Mr Salmond's use of a crowd-funding campaign to raise over £100,000 for his legal case over sexual harassment claims he is facing.

Salmond is facing renewed pressure to quit his show on the Russian broadcaster, following the latest revelations of Russian involvement in the Salisbury poisonings.

Read more: Alex Salmond show on RT to continue
Salmond refused to criticise Russia at the time of the poisonings on his show and instead warned that the UK would have to come up with a "comprehensive" and "cast iron" case to get the international community on board.

Mr Mundell said today: "I think Alex Salmond's approach to Russian television has been appalling from the start.

"It was ill-advised, it certainly didn't put the interests of Scotland or the United Kingdom to the fore.

"I think its become increasingly clear that Mr Salmond has only one guiding principle in his actions and that's self.

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"I think he would do Scotland, himself and the whole country a great service if he were to end his programme on Russian TV."

Mr Salmond has faced previous calls to quit his RT (formerly Russia Today) show amid claims the broadcaster is effectively a propaganda outlet for the Russain state in the UK.

The former First Minister has also faced criticism over his use of a public crowdfunding campaign to support his judicial review against the Scottish Government over the process it used to investigate sexual harassment claims against him while he was First Minister. The ex-SNP leader denies the claims made by two women, but there have been concerns that a crowdfunder may discourage future victims from coming forward.

"Every member of the public that I've spoken to about that issue found it extraordinary that he would take that decision to seek funding from others for a matter that related primarily to himself," Mr Mundell said.

"The problem is that we want people to come forward to challenge figures in authority, figures of power and wealth and its not helpful for them to creat a backdrop where people think those people can bring huge resources to bear to make their case when an ordinary person is not able to do the same."