Salmond’s Damning Evidence Against Sturgeon Explained
Last night Alex Salmond’s evidence to two enquiries was published, which can be read in full here (relating to Nicola Sturgeon’s Ministerial Code breaches) and here (relating to Sturgeon’s Government’s handling of the Salmond complaints). Readers may wish to remind themselves of Guido’s easy summary of the whole sorry affair and the two enquiries.
The SNP had attempted to use complainants’ right to anonymity to prevent the evidence being published. Now the evidence has been published and the complainants’ right to anonymity has not been breached, this attempt to block evidence coming to light seems more than spurious.
The first submission states that “most seriously, Parliament has been repeatedly misled on a number of occasions about the nature of the meeting of 2nd April 2018.” A resignation worthy breach Guido covered in detail in his previous summary…
Salmond, who is now due to explosively testify to the Scottish Parliament’s Salmond Enquiry tomorrow, used his second submission to tear into processes that are covering up the truth. Salmond’s evidence:
- states that the Crown Office “has not provided the Committee with the critical evidence which was unable to be led in the High Court.” This evidence includes text messages which “would bear directly on the veracity of evidence given under oath”.
- alleges Sturgeon’s husband Peter Murrell, and her Chief of Staff Liz Lloyd (among others who “for legal reasons” cannot be named) conducted “a deliberate, prolonged, malicious and concerted effort… to damage my reputation, even to the extent of having me imprisoned.”
- says Sturgeon’s husband “deployed his senior staff to recruit and persuade staff and ex staff members to submit police complaints… coordinated with special advisers”. Dragging the First Minister into the affair…
Salmond’s evidence concludes with stark words:
“The real cost to the Scottish people runs into many millions of pounds and yet no-one in this entire process has uttered the simple words which are necessary on occasions to renew and refresh democratic institutions – “I Resign”.
The Committee now has the opportunity to address that position.”
Responding to the whole affair last night, Nicola Sturgeon denied involvement in a plot, and stuck by her claim that she “forgot” a meeting where she claims she was told for the first time about sexual assault. A remarkable thing to supposedly forget about her mentor of thirty years…
The SNP and Scottish media previously campaigned tirelessly for two Labour leaders to resign over standards breaches:
- Henry McLeish resigned as First Minister in 2001, after failing to declare he sub let part of his constituency office in the register of interests.
- Wendy Alexander resigned as Scottish Labour leader in 2008, after the SNP-led Standards Committee voted 4 to 3 to propose a one-day ban from the Scottish Parliament after failing to declare one £950 campaign donation.
Lying to – even misleading – the Scottish Parliament about sexual assault allegations appears to Guido to be a far more serious breach of standards than either of those resignation affairs…