VINCE Cable’s decision to appear on Russian propaganda TV on the eve of the Ukrainian invasion was an “error of judgment”, the current Liberal Democrat leader has said.

Sir Ed Davey rebuked his predecessor for recording a half-hour interview for the Alex Salmond Show on RT on Wednesday, as Russian tanks massed along the border.

Sir Vince, who led the UK LibDems from 2017 to 2019, used the appearance to promote his new book, Money and Power.

Scottish LibDem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton called his decision “entirely wrong”. 

Visiting Scotland today, Sir Ed gave his first personal reaction to the media. 

He initially failed to criticise Sir Vince, saying he had been “extremely critical” of Russian President Vladimir Putin in the past, and opposed the current aggression.

However when pressed, he acknowledged his predecessor had blundered.

He said: “I wouldn’t have gone on Russia Today. I don’t believe it’s a great programme. 

“I think it’s a mouthpiece, too often, for Moscow.

“But he [Sir Vince] was going on, let’s be clear, about talking about his book.

“He’s very critical and always has been to my knowledge of Putin.

“That’s why it’s so different from Alex Salmond, who's frankly been pretty supportive. He’s anti-Nato. He seems to parrot lines coming from the Kremlin.

“Couldn’t be more different from Vince Cable.”

Reminded Mr Cable did the interview only hours before the invasion, Sir Ed said: “Let’s be clear, I don’t want to beat about the bush, I think it was an error of judgment for going on that.

"Because the interview was before the invasion, Vince has asked for the interview to be retracted.” 

However he said Mr Salmond’s decision to host a show on RT since 2017 showed his errors of judgment were “massive, legion and long-standing”.

On a visit to North East Fife with the seat’s LibDem MP Wendy Chamberlain, Sir Ed also called for tougher UK sanctions against Russia and Vladimir Putin’s cronies.

He also said the UK should be willing to accept more refugees fleeing the bloodshed in Ukraine, not just Ukrainians with existing links to the UK.

Amid growing controversy, Mr Salmond announced on Thursday that his production company, Slainte Media, was suspending his weekly show until further notice.

He said this week’s show - which aired online as rolling news of the invasion filled its usual broadcast slot - would be the last “until a peace is re-established”.