FORMER First Minister Alex Salmond has launched an outspoken attack on the BBC and its political editor Nick Robinson for the corporation's coverage of last year’s referendum, calling it “a disgrace” and “embarrassing.”

Writing in a newspaper today, Salmond says he did not previously make remarks about the issue because Robinson was fighting cancer.

But after Robinson criticised pro-Yes campaigners in a speech at Edinburgh International Book Festival last week, Salmond let rip with an anger-filled verdict of his own – one that people close to the MP for Gordon know he has suppressed in recent months.

Robinson last weekend said that during the protests against the BBC's reporting of the referendum, journalists had to “fight their way through crowds of protesters, frightened as to how they do their jobs … like they do in Putin’s Russia.”

Salmond wrote: “I am glad that the BBC’s Nick Robinson has been restored to health. For some months I have said nothing at all about auld Nick because it is unfair to criticise someone who is not able to answer back.

"Now he is back. The BBC’s coverage of the Scottish referendum was a disgrace. It can be shown to be so, as was Nick’s own reporting of which he should be both embarrassed and ashamed. To compare, as Nick did last week, 4000 Scots peacefully protesting outside BBC Scotland as something akin to Putin’s Russia is as ludicrous as it is insulting.”

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said: “This is yet another highly unsavoury attack by Alex Salmond on an impartial journalist who finds himself targeted in an insulting and aggressive manner simply for having done his job."