Nicola Sturgeon rejects ‘absurd’ claim of conspiracy against Alex Salmond

Marco Green
Марта 4, 2021

For eight hours today, politicians on the committee investigating whether the Scottish government mishandled harassment complaints against Alex Salmond grilled his successor Nicola Sturgeon over whether she had breached the ministerial code.

With Scottish elections coming up in May, Sturgeon believes a strong showing for her party would give her a mandate to demand a second referendum on independence, after one in 2014 in which Scots voted by 55% to 45% to stay in the United Kingdom.

Legal advice reluctantly published by the Scottish government late Tuesday showed it ignored lawyers who said the case against 66-year-old Salmond was doomed, according to opposition parties.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said he would file a no-confidence motion in the Edinburgh Parliament, where the SNP has no overall majority.

Mr Swinney said on Wednesday that more documents would be provided, although the delay means Ms Sturgeon escaped scrutiny around them during her witness session.

He added: "The weight of the evidence is overwhelming".

The first minister is facing calls to resign over questions about her involvement in the saga, including her claims about when she first heard the allegations.

"We have genuinely held views and concerns about the basis on which governments need to be able to take confidential legal advice and incidentally when Alex Salmond was First Minister, he held those views and as strongly as I do now".

But a relentless torrent of negative and sometimes lurid headlines about the Sturgeon-Salmond row could deprive her of the emphatic win she needs to overcome resistance by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who opposes a referendum.

Before his own appearance before the inquiry last week, Salmond accused Sturgeon and her closest allies of conspiring against him to the extent of having him imprisoned.

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