Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond appeared to jump out of the frying pan and into the fire on Sunday, as he came close to equating Israel with terrorists from the Islamic State (IS) group.

Alex Salmond

Alex Salmond

Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show on BBC1, Salmond (pictured) appeared well-meaning but off-cue when he was asked about the beheading of a British hostage and any possible backlash against Muslims in Scotland.

The Scottish First Minister said: “The Muslim community of Scotland isn’t responsible in any shape or form for atrocities or extremism – just like a few weeks ago the Jewish community of Scotland wasn’t responsible for the policies of the state of Israel.”

The Board of Deputies’ president Vivian Wineman said: “Any attempt to equate the actions of the democratically-elected Israeli Government in defending its citizens from attack with the despicable cold-blooded murder of a British aid worker by terrorists would be absurd and vile and we cannot conceive this was the First Minister’s intention.”