Byline: John Robertson
DAVID CAMERON yesterday launched a scathing attack on Alex Salmond as he joined the Glenrothes by-election campaign.
He accused the First Minister of concentrating on his own separatist agenda and failing to act like a 'uniting statesman' during the present banking crisis.
And he mocked the former Royal Bank of Scotland economist's expertise, claiming he had misled the public over the economic meltdown that has brought the nation's two biggest companies to their knees.
However, a spokesman for the SNP leader accused Mr Cameron of hypocrisy and claimed the Tory leader had tried to make political gain out of the UK government's handling of the crisis.
Asked if the ?37billion bail-out of HBOS, RBS and Lloyds- TSB showed an independent Scotland would struggle in the current economic climate, the Tory leader said: 'We are stronger together.
'That is the key thing that those of us who believe in the Union believe and the recent problems highlight that.
'In some ways it has revealed that Alex Salmond has been acting as a sort of Nationalist politician rather than as a uniting statesman and that is what we need right now.
'He has given us a running commentary on the whole banking system and I don't think he has made particularly good sense about it.' Mr Cameron was speaking on a visit to the Fife town with Tory candidate Maurice Golden and Scottish Tory leader Annabel Goldie ahead of the November 6 by- election.
The Glenrothes seat was made vacant by the death of John MacDougall, a Labour MP who won a majority of more than 10,600 at the last election.
Despite the damning criticism, Mr Cameron vowed to work with the First Minister if the Tories win power at Westminster.
But he warned: 'If Alex Salmond thinks the moment for breaking the Union is a Tory government at Westminster he has another think coming.
'Because one of the first things I would do would be to see whoever the First Minister of Scotland is and say "I want to keep the Union together". …