STURGEON SHOCKER: Salmond Inquiry says First Minister misled committee

By Democrat reporter

A majority of MSPs on the Alex Salmond committee have said Nicola Sturgeon misled the inquiry, sources have told BBC Scotland.

It is understood MSPs on the committee voted by five to four that Ms Sturgeon gave them an inaccurate account.

The committee’s final report is expected to be published next Tuesday.

Ms Sturgeon’s spokesman insisted that the first minister told the truth during her eight-hour evidence session earlier this month.

He added: “It is clear from past public statements that opposition members of this committee had prejudged the first minister at the outset of the inquiry and before hearing a word of her evidence.

“So this partisan and selective briefing – before the committee has actually published its final report – is hardly surprising.”

The cross-party committee includes four SNP MSPs, two Conservatives, one Labour [the Dumbarton MSP Jackie Baillie] one Liberal Democrat and independent Andy Wightman.

A spokesman for the Scottish Parliament said the committee was still finalising its report, and it would not make any comment until it was published.

Ms Sturgeon and Mr Salmond – her predecessor as first minister and SNP leader – have both taken part lengthy evidence sessions in front of the committee in recent weeks.

Mr Salmond claimed to have been the victim of a “malicious scheme” drawn up by figures within the SNP who are close to Ms Sturgeon.

But Ms Sturgeon told the inquiry that any suggestion there had been conspiracy were “absurd”, and insisted she had not been out to “get” Mr Salmond.

She told the Scottish Parliament on Thursday that Mr Salmond and his “cronies” In the “old boys’ club” had been spinning “conspiracy theories” which opposition politicians had bought into.

The committee has been examining the Scottish government’s botched investigation of harassment complaints against Mr Salmond.

It was set up after a judicial review found that the government investigation had been unlawful and “tainted by apparent bias”.

The government had to pay Mr Salmond’s legal fees of more than £500,000, which are now at £600,000 plus and heading rapidly towards £1 million.

Mr Salmond was later cleared of 13 charges of sexual assault against a total of nine women after a separate criminal trial last year.

James Hamilton QC whose report on his inquiry is still outstanding.

Another inquiry headed by Irish lawyer James Hamilton has been specifically investigating whether Ms Sturgeon’s involvement in the saga breached the ministerial code, which sets out the standards expected of government ministers.

The code says that any minister who knowingly misleads parliament would be “expected to offer their resignation”.

Mr Hamilton is expected to publish his report in the coming days.

One comment

  1. Well if I did mislead the Enquiry, which I dispute I did, I don’t in any event, based on the question you might have asked me, actually remember, because it wasn’t me, but if I did remember, which I can’t, because I took no notes, and wasn’t there, it would have been someone else who I never spoke to and that is the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

    Nicola Sturgeon – a name you can trust to give it to you straight.

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