Salmond claims Sturgeon misled parliament
Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon
Former First Minister Alex Salmond has accused Nicola Sturgeon of lying to the Scottish Parliament and breaking the Ministerial Code over her knowledge of sexual harassment complaints against him.
In an explosive series of claims against his successor, Mr Salmond claims each of his meetings with Ms Sturgeon to discuss the allegations without civil servants being informed was a breach of the Ministerial Code. If correct this could be regarded as a resignation matter.
In line with evidence from SNP chief executive – and Ms Sturgeon’s husband – Peter Murrell, Mr Salmond believes the meetings were government business.
Mr Salmond’s comments are made in a seven-page submission to James Hamilton who is investigating whether Ms Sturgeon broke the ministerial code.
Mr Salmond said Ms Sturgeon had invited him to her Glasgow home on 2 April 2018 expressly to discuss the Government probe despite her telling parliament that she had believed it was to be a “party” matter.
He said Holyrood had been “repeatedly misled” about the nature of the meeting.
“The First Minister’s claim that it was ever thought to be about anything other than the complaints made against me is wholly false,” he said.
“The repeated representation to the Parliament of the meeting on the 2nd April 2018 as being a ‘party’ meeting because it proceeded in ignorance of the complaints is false and manifestly untrue.”
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: “Alex Salmond, the very person who knows exactly what Nicola Sturgeon did behind the scenes and precisely what happened in their meetings, has now said she ‘misled’ the Scottish Parliament and ‘broke’ the Ministerial Code.
“There are witnesses and there appears to be a mountain of evidence that confirms Nicola Sturgeon knew of the allegations before she claimed to find out.
“Nobody ever bought Nicola Sturgeon’s tall tales to have suddenly turned forgetful, especially about the devastating moment she found out of sexual harassment allegations against her friend and mentor of 30 years.
“This evidence looks to show that she lied about the secret meeting with Salmond’s former chief of staff and ever since, she has been trying to cover it up by inventing an increasingly implausible story.
“What has been revealed are allegations of shocking, deliberate and corrupt actions at the heart of government. There is now clear evidence of Nicola Sturgeon abusing her power to deceive the Scottish public.
“If this proves to be correct, it is a resignation matter. No First Minister, at any time, can be allowed to get away with repeatedly and blatantly lying to the Scottish Parliament and breaking the Ministerial Code.”
Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie said: “Alex Salmond’s explosive allegations demand answers from the First Minister to the Committee.
“The bombshell accusation that Nicola Sturgeon has broken the Ministerial Code has the potential to end her political career and demands a robust and honest answer from the First Minister.
“This Committee demands truthfulness and honesty from every witness it calls – it is vital that the First Minister tells the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth when she appears before the Committee.”
Ms Sturgeon’s office said she entirely rejected the claims about the code and accused Mr Salmond of “spinning false conspiracy theories” and trying to divert attention away from the misconduct complaints made against him.
Last month, Ms Sturgeon’s husband, the SNP chief executive Peter Murrell, said his wife hadn’t told him about her conversation with Mr Salmond at their home because it was government-related rather than a party matter.