ALEX Salmond was forced to flee for his life yesterday after the Queen set a pair of dogs on him at the end of their first official audience.
According to Royal insiders the Queen and the First Minister were cordial to each other for much of the meeting at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
But after 15 minutes the Monarch grew visibly bored and restless and looked at her watch continually.
When Salmond refused to take the hint the Queen gave a signal and a footman released a pair of snarling Dobermans with instructions to 'maim'.
A Palace spokesman said: "The man Salmond looked pretty lively at that point and bolted for the door. He struggled with the handle and lost a large chunk of his awful Marks and Spencers jacket.
"But in the nick of time he was into the corridor, charging down the stairs and onto the concourse.
"We did laugh as he pegged it towards the gates with Churchill and Gandhi tearing after him. For a fat man he can cover a lot of ground."
Salmond then scaled the 25ft high Palace gates, before dropping onto the pavement and walking casually across the road to his parliamentary office.
The First Minister said: "It was a learning experience and the next time I'll either keep it snappy or take a packet of sausages."