By Bill Heaney
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today written a letter to the Lord President of the Privy Council, The Rt Hon Mark Spencer MP, and to the Lord Privy Seal Baroness Evans of Bowes Park to formally request that Alex Salmond’s membership to the Privy Council be revoked “over his continued association with Russian propaganda broadcaster RT”.
Alex Salmond, now leader of Scotland’s ALBA Party and formerly leader of the SNP until he fell out with Nicola Sturgeon, became a lifelong member of the Privy Council in 2007.
The Privy Council is one of the oldest parts of Government and is currently a mechanism through which interdepartmental agreement is reached on those items of Government business which fall to Ministers as Privy Counsellors rather than as Departmental Ministers. Membership also enables politicians to receive confidential security briefings.
Alex Salmond and LibDem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton who wants him banned from RT.
Mr Cole-Hamilton has already pledged that no Scottish Liberal Democrat representative will appear on RT and has urged other party leaders to follow his lead. Today First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has also condemned Alex Salmond’s continued involvement with RT and issued a similar call previously made by Mr Cole-Hamilton to end the broadcasting of the Russian state-funded channel in the UK.
Mr Cole-Hamilton’s letter is as follows:
Lord President of the Privy Council
The Rt Hon Mark Spencer MP
The House of Commons
CC- Lord Privy Seal- The Rt Hon Baroness Evans of Bowespark
Dear Lord President
The expulsion of Alex Salmond as a member of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council
I hope this finds you well. I am writing to ask that as a matter of urgency, consideration be given to expelling Alex Salmond as a member of the Privy Council.
As you will know, for the past 5 years Mr Salmond has been hosting ‘The Alex Salmond Show’ – a political chat show, on Russian state broadcaster RT. Since taking the decision to host the show, Mr Salmond has come under sustained criticism for his association with the channel and for the credibility he is affording a broadcaster the European Union have classed as an ‘Agent of propaganda for the Russian State.’
The expansionist aggression shown by Russia in recent weeks has horrified the world and brought Europe to the brink of conflict for the first time since the Balkans, yet RT have covered the invasion of Ukraine as a ‘liberation’. Alex Salmond’s political party, Alba and their representatives have also been sympathetic to Russian interests in recent statements.
I believe Mr Salmond’s close and financial association with an agent of a hostile state should therefore render him unfit to offer further advice to Her Majesty the Queen from his role as a Privy Councillor.
As such I ask that you consider his immediate expulsion from membership.
Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP
Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats
Picture: Alba leader Alex Salmond with SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon with whom he fell out. Mr Salmond is accused of broadcasting on Russia Today radio and of being sympathetic to Russian interests in recent statements.