Nick Clegg backs calls for separate Scottish phone hacking enquiry
The First Minister is under pressure from opposition parties over his ties with Rupert Murdoch and Donald Trump, but has ruled out a separate Scottish probe after it emerged that his predecessor Jack McConnell was a hacking victim.
But Mr Clegg, who joined the Lib Dems local election trail today, dismisssed Salmond’s claims that he was motivated by Scottish jobs and called on the SNP leader to put the national interest first.
Mr Clegg said: “I’m slightly losing count of who Alex Salmond spends his time sucking up to. One moment it’s Rupert Murdoch, then its Donald Trump.
“He clearly has a fascination with very wealthy, very powerful men and is happy to trade with them in order to further his own political ambitions.
“I heard Alex Salmond trying to justify his strategy of ingratiation with Rupert Murdoch on the basis that it was for Scottish jobs. In fact the only job that he had in mind was his own.
“I think its time that he puts the public and the interests of Scotland before his own cosy relationship with Rupert Murdoch.”
Mr Salmond has admitted that he was ready to lobby on behalf of Rupert Murdoch’s ill-fated attempts to takeover BSkyB, claiming he wanted to safeguard jobs in Scotland. Opposition parties insist it was about getting favourable newspaper coverage.
And Trump claimed last week that he received a private assurance from Salmond in 2007 that a controversial offshore windfarm nearby his golf course in Aberdeenshire would not go ahead, although the SNP leader denied this.