19 March 2021 | UK NEWS

A majority of MSPs on the Committee investigating the conduct of the Scottish Government in the Alex Salmond inquiry have concluded that the First Minister of Scotland misled their investigation, it has been reported.

Out of nine MSPs on the Committee, five said that Nicola Sturgeon gave false information to the investigation, while four argued that she did not. The cross-party committee consists of four SNP MSPs, two Conservatives, one Labour, one Liberal Democrat and independent Andy Wightman.

This has led to calls for Ms Sturgeon to resign from her position.

The committee is looking into the actions of the Scottish Government while they were investigating the alleged sexual harassment cases into Former First Minister Alex Salmond, who was later cleared of all charges.

The Scottish Government botched the investigation after it emerged that they had hired an investigating officer with prior involvement. This meant it was obliged Mr Salmond £500,000 in legal fees.

The news of the Committee’s ruling concerning Ms Sturgeon’s evidence was leaked last night. Its final report into the actions of the Scottish Government’s actions, including the key detail of whether or not it finds that the First Minister knowingly misled the Scottish Parliament, is expected to be released on Tuesday.

Ms Sturgeon told Sky News yesterday evening: “What has been clear is that opposition members of this Committee made their minds up before I uttered a single word of evidence. Their public comments have made that clear.

“So this very partisan leak tonight before they’ve actually finalised the report is not that surprising.

“Let’s wait and see the final report, but more importantly the question of whether or not I breached the Ministerial Code is being considered independently by James Hamilton and I hope and expect he will publish that report soon.”

However, Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross told the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme: “All the evidence points to the fact that Nicola Sturgeon misled Parliament, misled the people of Scotland and has to resign.

“I have said for weeks that evidence against Nicola Sturgeon has been mounting, it has been growing and it is clear she has breached the Ministerial Code.

“You cannot continue as First Minister of Scotland if you have misled Parliament and breached the Ministerial Code.”

Jonathan is a political reporter and commentator. He is also a senior contributor for Turning Point UK. His interests include philosophy and sociology.

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