ANAS Sarwar has said Alex Salmond's new Alba Party should not be included in televised election debates.

The Labour leader also suggested he would have to consider whether he would share a platform with the former first minister.

He made the comments in an online Q&A session with the Scottish Parliamentary Journalists' Association. 

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Salmond's Alba Party is pushing for participation in the leadership debates and "fair coverage" in the election campaign.

Earlier today, he said the party would write to Ofcom over the issue.

But Sarwar said the Alba Party is not a "serious attempt to actually influence politics" but rather a "political campaign that is trying to cover a bid for revenge". 

Asked if he would share a platform with Salmond, Sarwar initially said it was for the "broadcasters to decide". 

Pushed on this, he said: "I am happy to share a platform with people who want to debate Scotland's future. 

"What I don't want to do is get involved in any kind of revenge mission."

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Asked if he would refuse to share a platform with Salmond, Sarwar said: "I genuinely have not thought about it. I think there's lots of different considerations on it. 

"But do I think he should be included in the debates? No I don't.

"Do I think he is a serious candidate and a serious campaign from him? No I don't.

"And I suppose if it's not serious, why should he be included?"

Salmond did not take part in Tuesday’s BBC leaders’ debate – but has stressed “the case for Alba participation in debates and fair coverage is unanswerable”.

Speaking earlier, he said: “It is less than a week since launch and already Alba has a comparable number of members to the Liberal Democrats and the Greens and are contesting seats across Scotland. 

"We also have double the Westminster parliamentary representation of the Labour Party in Scotland.

"There is however a further important reason favouring Alba inclusion in the leadership debates.

"The dominating issue of the election is independence. If the TV companies stick to their present position, every debate will be imbalanced three to two against independence. 

"With Alba’s representation, at a stroke, the independence argument will be balanced three apiece.

"Watching the debate on Tuesday night my name was mentioned a number of times with no recourse. In addition, the moderator, Sarah Smith, sought to elicit information from audience members about support for Alba.

"We have waited until the declaration of candidates before writing. Now given our strength the case for Alba participation in debates and fair coverage is unanswerable. We expect a positive reply.”