Thursday, August 5, 2021
HomeLive StreamNicola Sturgeon ‘not surprised’ by ‘partisan leak’ from Salmond inquiry

Nicola Sturgeon ‘not surprised’ by ‘partisan leak’ from Salmond inquiry

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Nicola Sturgeon has said a “very partisan leak” from the Alex Salmond inquiry is “not that surprising” as the committee is understood to have deemed she misled parliament.

MSPs on the Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints Committee voted 5-4 that the First Minister gave an “inaccurate” account of a meeting with her predecessor during the live investigation, the PA news agency understands.

The First Minister told the truth to the committee in eight hours of evidence, and stands by that evidence

She told Sky News: “I stand by all of the evidence I gave to the committee, all eight hours’ worth of evidence.

“What’s been clear is that opposition members of this committee made their minds up about me before I muttered a single word of evidence, their public comments have made that clear.

“So this leak from the committee – very partisan leak – tonight before they’ve finalised the report is not that surprising.”

She added that she is awaiting the result of the James Hamilton QC investigation into whether she broke the ministerial code.

The decision is likely to increase pressure on Ms Sturgeon to stand down before May’s election, although it is unclear whether the act was deemed a resignation-worthy offence.

A Scottish Parliament spokeswoman said the committee is still considering its report.

It is expected to be published on Tuesday.

The Committee on the Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints was set up after a successful judicial review by Mr Salmond resulted in the Scottish Government’s investigation being ruled unlawful and “tainted by apparent bias”, with a £512,250 payout being awarded to him for legal fees in 2019.

This latest development comes after Conservative MP David Davis used parliamentary privilege in the House of Commons to read out messages that he suggested showed a “concerted effort by senior members of the SNP to encourage complaints” against the former first minister.

According to Mr Davis, the messages disclosed by a whistleblower “demands serious investigation”, with one alleging the investigating officer in the case complained of interference by Ms Sturgeon’s chief of staff.

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