Alistair Darling challenges Alex Salmond to TV debate, but SNP leader 'refusing to talk to broadcasters'

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond is reportedly refusing to talk to broadcasters about having a debate with the leader of the Better Together campaign Alistair Darling.

With 105 days to go until Scotland’s independence referendum, Darling has challenged Salmond to hold a debate with him.

In an interview published in this week’s New Statesman he said: “[Salmond] wants to turn it into a contest between Scotland and England, which is why he wants a televised debate with David Cameron. That should not happen. I want to debate him. I’m ready to. But he’s refusing to enter into discussions with the television companies – STV, the BBC, Sky and Channel 4. It’s all being cut very fine. It’s not too late. I challenge him to a debate.”

He also accused Salmond of behaving like North Korean despot Kim Jong-il in his recent criticism of BBC broadcasts into Scotland.

“He said on the BBC that people voted UKIP in Scotland because English TV was being beamed in to Scotland. This was a North Korean response. This is something that Kim Jong-il would say. And this is the same BBC for which we all pay our licence fee, and we all enjoy the national output as well as the Scottish output.”

Press Gazette has asked Salmond's office for a comment.

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