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Beeb are slated by Salmond.

ALEX Salmond blasted the BBC yesterday after his last-ditch bid to be included in their prime ministerial debate was thrown out.

Watchdogs the BBC Trust rejected an appeal by the SNP and Welsh nationalists Plaid Cymru over next week's showdown.

Salmondsaid:"Theexclusion of the SNP and Plaid Cymru ... is a democratic disgrace.

"The corporation has jettisoned more than 80 years of impartiality for the electoral convenience of the Londonbased parties."

SalmondsaidtheTVdebates were "dominating" the campaign and that Scots viewers were being "short-changed".

The trust backed BBC boss Mark Thompson's decision.

Exclude They said: "Noting the level ofpastelectoralsupportandthe number of candidates standing for the SNP and Plaid Cymru, the committee concluded that thedirector-general'sapproach to achieving impartiality was appropriate."

The nationalist parties had appealed against the decision to exclude them from the debate a week before polling day.

They claimed the move breached the BBC's duty to be impartial.

The BBC debate, focusing on the economy, will be the last of three TV showdowns.

Separate Scottish leaders TV debates have been organised.

Labour candidate for Inverclyde David Cairns said: "The fact is that these are debates between people who could become prime minister - Alex Salmond isn't standing to be prime minister."

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FURIOUS: Salmond
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 23, 2010
Words:203
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