Former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond has paid tribute to the Queen, as he recalled how she shared “very successful” racing tips with him.

Mr Salmond said he and the Queen often spoke about horse racing during their meetings.

And the former SNP leader, who now leads the pro-independence Alba Party, recalled their “extensive and freewheeling” discussions “with no subject out of bounds”.

He said: “She had a great love of Scotland and enormous regard for her people.

“I suspect that of all her 15 prime ministers and 15 first ministers in her record-breaking reign, I was the only one to whom she shared her racing tips – and very successful they were too.”