Alex Salmond, devolutionary salami slicer beloved of these columns, finally pitched up at Westminster after an absence of seventeen weeks to resume the duties for which he was elected: representing the good citizens of Bannf and Buchan in the UK Parliament. He still draws his Westminster salary, giving the reduced MSP salary which he receives to charity (and then gets a tax break on, of course!).

To the Huntsman it seems inconceivable that he should consider it appropriate to remain a Westminster MP whilst being first minister of the Scottish Parliament. Whilst being an MP at Westminster can, and indeed should, be combined with some outside activity, being First Minister ought to be a full-time position and should not be combined with being an MP as well. His seventeen week absence demonstrates that he cannot give his full attention at Westminster to the matters which affect them there and which may still be discussed by Westminster. That, whatever other arrangements he has made to do his constituency work, is simply not acceptable and he ought to resign forthwith to allow someone properly and fully to represent the electors of Banff and Buchan at Westminster.