Alex Salmond has criticised the co-leader of a pro-independence party and referred to her as the “Green lady”.
The former First Minister accused Lorna Slater, who jointly leads the Scottish Greens, of not mentioning independence during a TV debate.
Salmond launched a new pro-indy party, Alba, in the wake of his bitter fallout with Nicola Sturgeon.
Alba’s aim is to secure a “super majority” of pro-independence MSPs and is only contesting the regional List elections for Holyrood.
An Alba rival on the Lists is the Scottish Greens, headed by Slater and Patrick Harvie.
Slater received plaudits for her performance in a live leaders debate recently, but Salmond was unimpressed.
In an interview with “Barrhead Boy”, Salmond claimed he had “great respect” for Green politics and referred to Slater as an “estimable lady”.
However, he said: “It is the case that she did not utter the word independence once in that entire hour-long debate.”
“You are not going to enable an independence majority, or persuade people to vote for independence, or to believe in independence, if you are frightened of the word.”
He then praised his own party: “In a sense Alba’s already been successful because we’ve injected independence into this election debate.
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“If we hadn’t arrived on the scene 10 days ago, then that stupifyingly boring election debate on the BBC last week would be par for the course.
“Except it wouldn’t just be the Green lady who wasn’t discussing independence or uttering the ‘i word’, nobody would – why would they?
“It wouldn’t even rate as a serious issue. There might be a debate about the timing of a referendum, but listen a referendum isn’t independence.”
In the BBC debate, Slater said the Greens would support an independence referendum in the next parliament.
A spokesperson from the Scottish Greens: “The Scottish Greens have and will continue to make the positive case for Scotland’s future as an independent country.
“This is desperate stuff from the Alba man and he knows it. It is no wonder that more people are supporting our vision of a fairer, greener and independent Scotland and are ignoring his increasingly erratic and discredited campaign.”