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Sturgeon criticises Salmond over Russian state TV show  

The First Minister said she would have advised him not to accept the deal with RT.

SNP: Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond rarely criticise each other in public.
SNP: Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond rarely criticise each other in public. SWNS

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has criticised her predecessor Alex Salmond for launching his own talk show on a controversial Russian state-owned broadcaster.

The SNP leader said she did not know about the show in advance of its announcement on Thursday evening and if she had she would have advised against it.

Her comments represent a rare public disagreement between the pair.

Mr Salmond will broadcast his show on RT, formerly called Russia Today, on Thursdays and hopes to have guests from business, political and entertainment backgrounds.

RT has been sanctioned over a number of broadcasts surrounding the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria that were found to be "either materially misleading or not duly impartial" by the TV watchdog Ofcom.

Sturgeon said: "I am sure Alex's show will make interesting viewing, however, his choice of channel would not have been my choice.

"Of course, Alex is not currently an elected politician and is free to do as he wishes but had I been asked, I would have advised against RT and suggested he seek a different channel to air what I am sure will be an entertaining show.

"Neither myself nor the SNP will shy away from criticising Russian policy when we believe it is merited."

On the announcement of his forthcoming show, Salmond said: "This programme will give people with something to say a platform to say it and we intend to find out something about the personalities behind the public figures.

"In this show I'm going to give you the opportunity to get to know our guests just that bit better.

"I'm not interested in catching people out on statistics or laying them low with past quotations. I want to hear from people to of ideas and answers, with something positive to contribute."

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