First Minister accused of snubbing devolved nations

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ALEX Salmond has been accused of snubbing a joint UK ministerial committee chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in London after the SNP leader turned down an invitation to attend the summit.

A UK government source said Mr Salmond was “posturing” by speaking at two meetings in England last week to promote independence, while turning down the chance to take part in talks with Mr Clegg and the representatives of the other UK devolved administrations.

The First Ministers of Northern Ireland and Wales are among those attending the talks with Mr Clegg to discuss energy policy and attracting investment.

A spokesman for Mr Salmond said the First Minister was instead due to take part in talks in Glasgow with potential investors in Scotland’s economy, but that senior figures from the Scottish Government – energy minister Fergus Ewing and cabinet secretary for parliamentary business and government strategy Bruce Crawford – would be attending.

A UK government source said: “Snubbing other UK administrations shows he’s disinterested in governing.” A spokesman for Mr Salmond said: “The First Minister will be holding meetings in Glasgow, including discussions with investors in Scotland.”