Monday, October 25

Nicola Sturgeon accuses the opposition of prejudging the outcome of the investigations | Scottish politics

Nicola Sturgeon has said that he will “continue the work” of lifting Scotland out of the coronavirus pandemic, as he accused opposition parties of prejudging the outcome of the investigations into her and the conduct of her government in relation to the investigation. of allegations of sexual harassment against Alex. Salmond.

During the angry exchanges to the prime minister’s questions on Thursday, Sturgeon told the leader of the Scottish Conservatives in Holyrood, Ruth Davidson: “I am going to continue the work that I suspect that most of the people who watch at home now want To continue. , which is leading this country through and out of a pandemic. “

A day after her eight-hour marathon test session for the Holyrood investigation that is examining the Scottish government’s handling of the original complaints by two female officials, Sturgeon was questioned by opposition leaders about the last-minute disclosure of the legal advice to the committee. .

Despite two votes in parliament, legal advice given to the Scottish government on Salmond’s judicial review of the process, which he lost at a cost of more than £ 600,000 to taxpayers, was only delivered to the committee the day before Sturgeon’s evidence, after the Scottish Conservatives threatened Deputy Prime Minister John Swinney with a vote of no confidence.

There are pending documents that Swinney has agreed to release Thursday, and the no-confidence motion remains active, as does one that the Conservatives have also threatened against Sturgeon.

Davidson asked Sturgeon why his administration had continued to “defend the indefensible” when government attorneys raised significant concerns about the case.

Documents released Tuesday night contained the explosive revelation that Roddy Dunlop QC, one of Scotland’s top lawyers, who was the government’s external adviser, was furious that government officials did not reveal critical evidence about the prior contact of the investigating officer with the two. whistleblowers.

Sturgeon said that, as he had stated in his testimony Wednesday, “there was no question” that the case should be dropped until this new evidence emerged, and that the government was acting on the views of law enforcement officers in that moment. .

Nicola Sturgeon: no plot against Alex Salmond - video
Nicola Sturgeon: no plot against Alex Salmond – video

She said: “Yesterday I answered questions for eight hours, I answered all the questions that were asked of me and I intend to rest on that to allow both the committee and the ministerial code investigation to conclude their work.”

In addition to the Holyrood committee investigation, there is a separate independent investigation by James Hamilton, Ireland’s former director of public prosecution, into whether Sturgeon violated the ministerial code by misleading parliament during meetings with Salmond to discuss the allegations.

t Davidson said that the MSPs had “every right to question a prime minister who is the head of a government that failed these two women.”

“I want everyone to understand how incompetent and reserved this government is,” he said, adding: “From the legal advice that had to be removed from this government under the threat of a vote of no confidence, we know that for weeks this government had been definitely, without any doubt, ignoring legal advice ”.

After Davidson accused her of breaking the ministerial code, Sturgeon responded that the Tory MSP had “shown their true colors again.”

“Just as on Tuesday night the conservatives prejudged my evidence for the parliamentary inquiry, she has just prejudged the outcome of the independent inquiry into the ministerial code. This is just desperate political games for the conservatives. “

Newly elected Scottish Labor leader Anas Sarwar said the exchanges between Sturgeon and Davidson “represent the worst of our politics” but continued to pressure the prime minister on the same issue, asking why he took the threat of censorship. vote for the government to act.

Sturgeon said: “I think it is now correct and appropriate that we now allow the investigation to do its job, we allow the independent investigation into the ministerial code to do its work, and we allow me to continue the work that I think the majority of the country wants. Let me focus now, which is to continue to drive this country through a global pandemic so that we can, through Covid, get out of the lockdown and get back to normal. “

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