ALEX Salmond has dismissed a suggestion he may try to return to Westminster in a snap general election.

The former First Minister was reported to have hinted he would seek the SNP candidacy in his old seat of Banff & Buchan, which he represented from 1987 to 2010 before switching to Gordon.

Mr Salmond lost Gordon last year after the biggest swing to the Tories anywhere in the UK.

To the dismay of many former colleagues, he has since worked as a TV presenter on the Alex Salmond Show on the Kremlin-backed RT channel.

The 63-year-old was asked about his intentions at a recent meeting of the SNP's Aberdeenshire East branch, the Daily Record reported.

Asked if he was would stand again for Gordon in the event of a snap election this year, the paper reported that he said he had set his sights “further north”, referring to neighbouring Banff & Buchan.

An SNP source also told the Herald Mr Salmond made the “further north” remark, but admitted Mr Salmond loves to tease an audience.

However Ms Salmond has now rejected both the words attributed to him and the thrust of the story.

He told the Herald: "Story is wrong. I said no such thing."

Pressed on whether the thrust of the story was accurate, if not the quote, he said: "Story is just wrong - not just words but sense as well."

Mr Salmond, who lives in Banff & Buchan, hinted at a return to politics the night he lost Gordon to Tory Colin Clark, saying: “You’ve not seen the last of my bonnets and me.”

Mr Salmond lost after a massive tactical vote by LibDem supporters, who backed the Tories in protest over a second independence referendum.

However the result in Banff & Buchan was far more polarised, with previous SNP supporters appearing to switch directly to the Tories, giving Mr Clark a majority of 3,693.

Mr Salmond's residual personal vote in the constituency could tempt some back to the SNP.

The SNP is officially on a campaign footing because of the extraordinary feuding in Theresa May’s cabinet over Brexit, and her fragility as PM.

But the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act means there would only be an election if Tory MPs voted for it, and there is no appetite among them for walking into a potential defeat.

SNP deputy leader Keith Brown has been tasked with starting to organise candidate selections over the summer to help get the party ready for any vote or referendum.

A Scottish Conservative spokesman said: “Alex Salmond was given his jotters by the people of Gordon in spectacular style last year.

“He’d get a similar response from voters in Banff & Buchan.”

The SNP declined to comment.