MURDO Fraser has been condemned for "pathetic drivel" after he launched an attack on the Yes movement.

The Tory MSP suggested the Yes movement is using the issue of Russian donations to the Conservative Party as a diversion tactic.

He brought up the issue of potential Russian interference in the 2014 independence referendum and hinted at Alex Salmond's programme on RT.

The Alba Party leader later announced he would be suspending his show until peace is restored in Ukraine. The former first minister has faced criticism from all sides for his show on the Russian state-backed broadcaster.

Fraser tweeted: "Do the cybernats really think that If they scream ‘Russian money’ loudly enough, we will all forget whose side Putin was on in 2014? And whose former leader is paid by Russian state TV?"

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Responding to the attack from Fraser, general secretary of the Alba Party, Chris McEleny said: "Facts and Murdo Fraser are quite often like chalk and cheese.

"The facts are that in 2014 it was UK Prime Minister, and Tory Leader, David Cameron that asked Russia to intervene in the Scottish independence referendum - just as he asked other world leaders, and Her Majesty the Queen, to interfere in the referendum.

“Mr Fraser is a parliamentarian with a privileged platform. Instead of opting to politicise a geopolitical tragedy for petty unhelpful reasons I would urge him to join those of us that are calling for cool diplomacy and a peaceful settlement to avoid further human suffering."

SNP strategist Ross Colquhoun said: "It would be wise for certain sections of Scottish political life to take a moment for reflection and getting their own houses in order before tweeting the kind of pathetic drivel seen below.

"A starting point for Tories would be to return Russian donations, stop taking money from Putin/KGB connected Russians, to tackle influence of Putin-linked money on the UK economy, and to never again embrace Putin supporting strategists/proxies. After this we will listen to you.

"Scottish political life has welcomed the likes of Putin-sympathiser Steve Bannon, and Putin’s proxies have regularly been given platform on mainstream media platforms, despite warnings against it.

"All of us collectively in Scotland, and further afield, must learn from this."

The Tories have faced criticism over donations from people with links to the Russian state for years.

Since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister, the Conservative Party has accepted more than £2 million from donors linked to Russia.

The National: Former  first minister Alex Salmond during the launch of his RT chat show The Alex Salmond Show, at Millbank Tower in London.

Alex Salmond has been criticised for his show on RT

More than a dozen cabinet ministers have been linked to Russian money.

And Lubov Chernukhin, the largest female donor in British political history, has donated £2m to the Conservatives from 2012-2020.

In 2018, she also paid £20,000 to have lunch with Ruth Davidson. The National revealed this seek that the former Scottish Tory leader appears to have backed out of the meal.

The Conservatives have said the money is from Brits who happen to have Russian heritage, adding that donations have no influence at all on party policy.

In 2020, an Intelligence and Security Committee found there was “credible” commentary suggesting Russia undertook influence campaigns relating to 2014’s independence referendum.

The National: Putin, London, Russian russia Dirty money Montage - Damian Shields.

The UK's capital has labelled 'Londongrad' due to the influence of Russian money

The committee says it was “widely reported after that referendum that Russian election observers had suggested that there were irregularities in the conduct of the vote”.

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They say “this position was widely pushed” by Russian state media, adding the Westminster Government saw this as an attempt to discredit the UK “in the eyes of a domestic Russian audience”.

Russian influence in the UK has become a major talking point amid the war in Ukraine, with many accusing the Tory party and the city of London of being too close to Russian money and its influence.

In 2020, a report condemned successive UK Governments for failing to protect Britain from Russian influence.

It said that Russian influence at the highest levels of society was “the new normal”.