EXCL David Cameron becomes latest big name to snub Alex Salmond's chat show
David Cameron has turned down an invitation to appear on Alex Salmond's controversial new chat show, PoliticsHome can reveal.
The former Prime Minister declined a personal invitation from Mr Salmond in a phone conversation last week.
The snub came after it was revealed that Commons Speaker John Bercow had pulled out of the programme when he realised it will be broadcast on the Kremlin-funded channel Russia Today.
Mr Salmond has come in for widespread criticism since announcing that he will present his own weekly show on the channel, which has been accused of being a Vladimir Putin mouthpiece.
But the former First Minister has insisted he will have full editorial control over the half-hour show, which is due to air for the first time tomorrow.
A senior Conservative source said Mr Cameron "seemed surprised" when he was asked to be a guest.
"It shows Salmond's total lack of self awareness," said the source. "There's no way the former PM would do a Russia Today chat show with the nationalist leader, and Dave quite rightly told Alex to get stuffed. Alex is going after a lot of Tories and getting a lot of knock backs."
Nicola Sturgeon last week distanced herself from her predecessor as SNP leader, saying she would have advised him not to sign up with RT.
And last night a Number 10 source said: "As members of his own party have urged, Mr Salmond might do well to reconsider his curious decision to host a programme on Russia Today.
"This association with a country that seeks to undermine the international order will worry members of the public."
But a defiant Mr Salmond defended his decision on Channel Four News last night.
He said: "I offered the show to a range of broadcasting companies and RT UK put in the best offer. It’s edited, produced by me. Anything in that programme will be mine and mine alone.
“I would be too hot a property for the British television authorities."
A spokesperson for Slàinte Media, which produces the show, said: "As a matter of course, Slàinte Media does not comment on either those who have been invited onto The Alex Salmond Show or those guests who will be appearing until, of course, they appear on screen.
"However, your interesting story does tend to render ridiculous claims that what we have in mind is in any way a propaganda show. Everyone would be well advised to watch the programme and make up their own minds."