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Alex Salmond defends joke about having sex with female politicians as ‘harmless innuendo’

1 min read

Alex Salmond has batted away criticism of a joke he made about having sex with prominent female political figures, saying it was “harmless innuendo”.

The former first minister told the lewd gag – which included a reference to Nicola Sturgeon – at the opening performance of his one-man show at the Edinburgh Fringe.

He said: “I promised you today we'd either have Theresa May, or Nicola Sturgeon, or Ruth Davidson, or Melania Trump, but I couldn't make any of these wonderful women come.” Following a drum roll, Mr Salmond added: “To the show.”

Labour MSP Monica Lennon branded the gag “degrading”, while Ms Sturgeon said although Mr Salmond is not sexist, the joke was out-of-date.

The First Minister said: “Occasionally Alex is not as funny as he thinks he is, and perhaps this is an example of a joke which belongs more in the Benny Hill era than in the modern era.” 

But when Ms Sturgeon’s response was levelled at her predecessor, he said: “I have to reply to Nicola Sturgeon? I wouldn’t get a word in edgeways.

“Actually, Benny Hill was quite talented. He made a living for 50 years on telly, so he didn’t do too badly.

“The thing about the joke... nothing in the show is scripted, it was taken out of context, it was a piece of harmless innuendo.”

Mr Salmond dropped the gag from his subsequent shows.

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