Alex Salmond under fire over ‘sexist’ joke during Fringe show

Former First Minister Alex Salmond on stage at the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh. Picture: PA
Former First Minister Alex Salmond on stage at the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh. Picture: PA
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First Minister Alex Salmond has come under fire after making a crude joke about female politicians during his show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Salmond, who dropped the gag in the second edition of his show yesterday, named First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davdison, Prime Minister Theresa May and US First Lady Melania Trump in the joke, saying: “I promised you today we’d either have Theresa May, or Nicola Sturgeon, or Ruth Davidson, or Melania Trump, but I couldn’t make any of these wonderful women come.”

Following a drum roll from the onstage band, Mr Salmond added: “To the show.”

His joke came under fire from opposition parties who said they were “degrading” and that he would not be winning any awards for his comedy show, which is performed at the city’s Assembly Rooms.

The show was the first in a two-week sell-out run at Edinburgh’s Fringe. The first edition of the show, named ‘Unleashed’, which saw Brexit secretary David Davis make a guest appearance, was panned by critics.

• READ MORE: Theatre review: Alex Salmond... Unleashed

Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser said: “Alex Salmond has gone from being Scotland’s First Minister to a bore propping up the bar in the space of a few years. He certainly won’t be troubling the judging panel for fringe joke of the year with that offering.”

Labour MSP Monica Lennon said: “It would be wrong to laugh these comments off as a bit of banter, this is a former First Minister degrading female politicians.

“Alex Salmond should know that comments like these are simply unacceptable and he should apologise. It would set a horrendous example to young men if he tries to hide behind these sexist comments as risque humour.”

But a spokesman for Mr Salmond said: “Don’t be absurd. They are green at the gills. Scottish Labour are just miffed they didn’t get a mention.

“It’s the Edinburgh Fringe we are at, not fringe politics with Labour.”