Why is Scotland’s First Minister under pressure? EMINE SINMAZ examines the allegations against Nicola Sturgeon
THE JUDICIAL REVIEW
Alex Salmond claimed that the Scottish government wasted taxpayers’ money pursuing a legal claim that was doomed from the start.
He won the judicial review in 2019 after the government’s investigation was ruled unlawful and ‘tainted by apparent bias’.
Bombshell documents published on Tuesday night revealed that the government’s lawyers had reservations about the case months before it was conceded. Miss Sturgeon rejected suggestions it continued the claim against the advice of senior lawyers.
‘The charge that has been made against me is that I wilfully allowed a judicial review to proceed against the legal advice, therefore I broke the ministerial code,’ she said. ‘With respect, as you now know, I was acting in accordance with the views of the law officers, not against.’
Alex Salmond claims Nicola Sturgeon misled parliament by telling MSPs that she first learnt of allegations against him on April 2, 2018
Mr Salmond claims Miss Sturgeon misled parliament by telling MSPs that she first learnt of allegations against him on April 2, 2018. Mr Salmond’s former chief of staff, Geoff Aberdein, says he first discussed the issue with the First Minister at her office in parliament on March 29, 2018. Miss Sturgeon later conceded that she had ‘forgotten’ about this meeting.
She said yesterday: ‘The purpose of the conversation seemed to be to persuade me to meet with Alex as soon as possible, which I did agree to do.
‘Geoff did indicate a harassment-type issue had arisen, but my recollection is he did so in general terms.’ She told the committee she wished her memory of the meeting on March 29 was ‘more vivid’.
She maintained that she found out the details of the allegations at the later meeting, which were ‘significant and indeed shocking’.
Mr Salmond told the committee on Friday that Miss Sturgeon agreed to intervene following complaints against him
DID SHE INTERVENE?
Mr Salmond told the committee on Friday that Miss Sturgeon agreed to intervene following complaints against him.
Mr Hamilton, who was present at the April 2, 2018 meeting, corroborated his account, saying: ‘We discussed mediation. My clear recollection is that her words were “If it comes to it, I will intervene”.’ But Miss Sturgeon said it would have been an ‘egregious’ breach of her position.
She said: ‘I did not intend to intervene, and I did not intervene.’
COMPLAINANT NAME LEAKED
Mr Salmond said the identity of one of the women who made complaints against him was disclosed to his former chief of staff, Geoff Aberdein, by a member of Miss Sturgeon’s team.
He lodged a formal complaint about the official yesterday.
Kevin Pringle, the SNP’s former chief spin doctor, and Duncan Hamilton, a former MSP, have corroborated Mr Aberdein’s claims. But Miss Sturgeon said: ‘I am not accepting that that happened.’