The leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Douglas Ross, said: “James Hamilton said it was up to the Scottish parliament to decide if the first minister told the truth.
An investigation into the government’s unlawful handling of harassment allegations against Alex Salmond has concluded that Nicola Sturgeon misled a Scottish parliament committee.
Nicola Sturgeon broke ministerial code
A separate independent inquiry released yesterday by QC James Hamilton cleared the first minister of breaching the ministerial code but stated that it was up to Holyrood “to decide” whether she misled MSPs.
Those investigating the Scottish government’s botched handling of harassment allegations against Alex Salmond said they “find it hard to believe” that Nicola Sturgeon had “no knowledge of any concerns about inappropriate behaviour on the part of Mr Salmond prior to November 2017”. The committee stated: “If she did have such knowledge, then she should have acted upon it. If she did have such knowledge, then she has misled the committee.”
It found a “fundamental contradiction” in her evidence on whether she agreed to intervene in a Scottish government investigation into complaints by two women against Alex Salmond.
On 2 April 2018, in a meeting at Sturgeon’s home in Glasgow, the current First Minister of Scotland “did in fact leave Mr Salmond with the impression that she would, if necessary, intervene. Her written evidence is therefore an inaccurate account of what happened, and she has misled the committee on this matter.”
The committee said QC James Hamilton’s inquiry was “completely separate from the work of our inquiry” and said his inquiry was the “most appropriate place to address the question of whether or not the first minister has breached the Scottish ministerial code”. Hamilton believes that “the first minister did not breach the ministerial code” in her behaviour however his judgement must be questioned given the fact that he was appointed to his position by Nicola Sturgeon and was commissioned to write this report by her, therefore the likelihood of his report being partisan and biased is extraordinarily high.
The leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Douglas Ross, said: “James Hamilton said it was up to the Scottish parliament to decide if the first minister told the truth. The verdict of the parliament committee is — Nicola Sturgeon misled the public. This sorry affair has already done enough damage. When will someone take responsibility”.