First Minister Alex Salmond has denied being "a barefaced liar" over a claim that ministers have not sought any legal advice about Scotland's uncertain future in Europe.
Just minutes after Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told Holyrood that the Scottish Government did not seek "specific legal advice", opposition parties unearthed an interview in which Mr Salmond appeared to say that it had.
BBC political interviewer Andrew Neil asked Mr Salmond directly in March if he "sought advice from your own Scottish law officers" on the matter of Scotland's future in Europe.
Mr Salmond replied that "we have, yes, in terms of the debate" and said the advice can be read "in the documents that we have put forward which argue the position that we would be a successor state".
He said: "You know I can't give you the legal advice or reveal the legal advice of law officers. You know that Andrew. But what you can say is that everything that we publish is consistent with the legal advice that we receive."
Labour's Paul Martin said the Neil interview shows Mr Salmond telling "barefaced lies that embarrass his deputy".
The Scottish Government has now dropped its legal challenge against the Information Commissioner's ruling that it must reveal whether it has taken legal advice on Scotland's membership of the EU in the event of independence. Ms Sturgeon claimed that the Government has taken no such advice, effectively ending the challenge.
Mr Salmond took the rare step of addressing Holyrood directly to rebut his opponents' accusations. The First Minister claimed the quote used to justify the attack "misses out 27 words across three separate answers".
He said: "The full transcript makes very clear that I was talking about the issue of Scotland's EU membership in terms of general debate, and in terms of the many eminent legal opinions offered. I was also, as the interview makes clear, speaking in terms of the many Scottish Government documents containing reference to an independent Scotland's membership of the European Union."
Mr Martin refused to retract his accusation, saying Mr Salmond's statement to parliament "clears up nothing".