Sep 22 2013
The First Minister has written to the Prime Minister again calling for a televised debate on Scottish independence between the pair, despite David Cameron refusing to get involved only last week.
With the one year countdown to the referendum passed, Alex Salmond has proposed a St Andrew's Day showdown with Mr Cameron, but Downing Street rebuffed the challenge last weekend and insisted that the debate should be led by ''Scottish voices''.
Better Together chief Alistair Darling has challenged Mr Salmond to face him on television instead of Mr Cameron, but the First Minister wants it to be between the respective heads of the Scottish and UK Governments.
Mr Salmond has said that Yes Scotland chief Blair Jenkins is the more appropriate opponent for Mr Darling.
The First Minister said the UK Government has played "the leading role" in advocating a No vote in the referendum and that civil servants had been instructed to produce a series of papers in different policy areas to aid the Unionist campaign.
In the letter to the Prime Minister, he wrote: "While your timetable to publish one such paper a month in 2013 has clearly slipped, this work is under way, and you, the Chancellor and other senior members of your Cabinet have been involved in promoting this Westminster-led campaign for a No vote.
"As these developments indicate, the Government in which you serve as Prime Minister is central to the entire referendum debate from the perspective of the No campaign. Therefore, as the principal signatories of the Edinburgh Agreement, the natural progression in these circumstances is a televised, head-to-head debate between you and me.
"It is not possible, with any degree of consistency or credibility, to involve yourself and your Government so centrally in the referendum process and then refuse to publicly debate these very issues.
"That is why I am offering you the opportunity to participate in such a debate, and I propose that we hold it on November 30, Scotland's national day - which will be after the Scottish Government's November publication of the independence White Paper."
Mr Cameron has so far rejected Mr Salmond's calls for a televised debate. A Downing Street spokesman said the Prime Minister will continue to make a positive case for the United Kingdom and believes that the campaign should be led by Scottish voices, such as Better Together.