Nicola Sturgeon has slapped down Alex Salmond for launching a talk show on state-funded Russian TV.
The Scottish First Minister revealed she was not consulted about her predecessor’s plan, but warned that if she had been: “I would have advised against RT.”
She was facing calls to speak out after Mr Salmond announced a weekly current affairs programme to air on RT, formerly known as Russia Today.
The former SNP leader, who lost his seat at the 2017 General Election, had already faced anger and mockery from other politicians for the decision.
An MSP from his own party reportedly asked “what the f*** is he thinking?”, while the Conservative MP who unseated him from the Gordon constituency in June said the move “will suit his politics”.
Scottish Tories leader Ruth Davidson also accused him of “taking the Kremlin’s rouble”.
Ms Sturgeon joined the fray in a statement on Friday, saying while she was sure the programme would be interesting viewing, “his choice of channel would not have been my choice”.
She cautioned: “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.”
Mr Salmond has promised he will not bow to Russian editorial interference, saying he is simply making the show and selling it on to RT.
He claims it is up to the broadcaster whether they run the shows or not.
“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,” Mr Salmond said.