ALEX Salmond is under growing pressure to quit his chat show on Kremlin-backed television station RT after two suspects were named in the attempted murder of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

The former first minister was accused of embarrassing Scotland, while the SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford labelled RT a “vehicle of the Russian state” and said he didn’t believe anyone should broadcast on it.

Mr Salmond, who resigned his SNP membership last week amid sexual misconduct allegations, was accused of sowing doubt over Russia's role in the attack on a previous show.

His guests included former MI5 officer Annie Machon, who questioned Russia's culpability. She has previously pushed 9/11 conspiracy theories.

Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton said: "Given the overwhelming evidence suggesting that this attack was conducted by Russian intelligence, it is abhorrent that the former first minister is still taking part in a weekly show on Putin's propaganda channel. End this Trump-like apologism for Putin’s Russia.

"His next broadcast should include an apology to the Skripal family or even better, his resignation from Russia Today. He has embarrassed Scotland for long enough."

Scottish Tory shadow culture secretary Rachael Hamilton accused Mr Salmond of being a “well-paid propaganda tool of the Russian state”.

Quizzed by journalists, Mr Blackford said he would “not encourage people to go on RT”. Mr Salmond declined to comment.

Theresa May named Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov as suspects in the Salisbury nerve agent attack. They are believed to be Russian spies.

It came as disgraced former MSP Tommy Sheridan signed up to launch a new chat show on Russian propaganda outlet Sputnik UK, where he will also write a weekly column.

Mr Sheridan, who was jailed for perjury in 2011 after lying during his successful defamation case against the News of the World, said he hoped to offer “an informed opinion, inspire reactions and provoke debate” in his articles for Sputnik.