ALEX Salmond has a point. Should his show for TV station RT turn out to be Kremlin propaganda, then people will be entitled to “slate” him.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has a point too. Mr Salmond is currently not an elected politician and is free to do as he wishes, even though she would have advised him against broadcasting on RT and seek out another channel.

The furore over Mr Salmond’s announcement that he will host a chat show on controversial TV station RT, the Kremlin-backed broadcaster formerly known as Russia Today, has opened a hornet’s nest within the SNP and beyond. It is an undoubted embarrassment for the party.

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Mr Salmond might be a free agent these days when it comes to making a living, but his inability or willingness to make a clear distinction between his SNP role and his personal media ventures remains an issue for the party.

Any cursory look at social media comments in response to the distancing by the First Minister and the SNP from Mr Salmond’s decision bears that out.

It’s no secret that within the SNP’s ranks, there are respective political camps around which some members – though not all – congregate in favour of either Ms Sturgeon or Mr Salmond’s position on how party business should be done. This latest run-in between the two figures will only add to the existing animosity and differences over a number of issues including how the party image should be presented.

Mr Salmond insists he will have total editorial control over his show, but the reality is likely to be very different. That is simply not how broadcasting media works, not least by a state-run channel which this week was forced by the US authorities to register as an arm of the Russian government.

In arguing the case for his decision to go with RT, Mr Salmond points out MPs of all political shades including the SNP have appeared on it, but this is a far cry from hosting a show on the channel, especially a political one.

Mr Salmond will almost certainly also find it difficult to reconcile the fact that many of the progressive political policies espoused and positions taken by the Scottish Government and SNP will sit uneasily with a broadcaster that plays to the tune of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Questions over Moscow’s role in preventing freedom of speech and the press, persecution on the grounds of race and sexuality all fly in the face of values the SNP claim to cherish and hold dear.

In describing the format of his show, Mr Salmond says it would have a sharp focus on politics, which allows guests “to express their point of view”.

There is a certain irony in this given that is precisely what many Russians are prevented from doing through their own media outlets or in peaceful demonstration.

Some might be inclined to give Mr Salmond the benefit of the doubt and wait to see whether his show manages to be what he says it will. For the time being, though, that will be of little consolation to SNP member at loggerheads over his latest career move.