FIRST Minister Alex Salmond has been accused of being timid over his response to gay marriage.

He faced a demand by LibDem leader Willie Rennie yesterday not to prejudge a consultation on gay marriage but then said he should give a guarantee that it would be introduced in Scotland.

Mr Rennie seized on a statement by US President Barack Obama that he believed "same-sex couples should be able to get married" and cited similar comments by Prime Minister David Cameron.

The LibDem leader said Mr Salmond's response was "timid", quoting gay SNP MSP Alyn Smith as saying "too many politicians are too equivocal on this".

He said: "Why has the First Minister chosen to be one of the equivocal people rather than joining proudly the progressive world leaders in support of equal marriage?"

Mr Salmond said: "I don't know if Willie actually believes that David Cameron is a progressive world leader, but if he does then it explains the vast overwhelming departure of any semblance of a Liberal Democrat Party."