News – UK – The presence of the Alex Salmond Committee is in doubt as Holyrood pulls the investigation file


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ALEX Salmond’s appearance before Holyrood’s harassment investigation is in doubt after the Scottish Parliament body pulled some of its evidence from the website

The U-turn for the six MSPs in the SPCB came after the Crown Office wrote that they had “serious concerns” about the former Prime Minister’s submission

The document has since been uploaded again to Parliament’s website, but with numerous editorial offices

Salmond’s attorneys have asked to see the legal basis for the changes. They have warned that it “could have a material impact on whether he can attend tomorrow” ”

In the document that Salmond presented to the prosecutor on whether or not Nicola Sturgeon broke the Ministerial Code, he accused his successor of misleading MSPs and violating strict rules of transparency and accountability

Information that has been edited or not published cannot be considered by the committee for its final report, which ultimately means that it cannot be brought up during the taking of evidence with Salmond or Sturgeon

Just last week, the SPCB effectively overridden the harassment investigation, which had narrowly voted twice against the publication of the dossier

Parliament’s lawyers had previously advised MSPs on the committee against disclosing the document – although much of it is already publicly available – because of concerns that the women involved in Salmond’s criminal case could be identified, in violation of a contempt for the court order

Due to the committee’s unwillingness to publish, Spectator magazine went to the High Court and requested a change in the order

While Lady Dorrian agreed to an optimization, there were legal arguments about the implications of the change

At a crunch meeting of the SPCB last Thursday, they decided that it was “all in all” possible to publish the dossier accusing Nicola Sturgeon of violating the Ministerial Code

On the Monday after the document was released, the Crown Office wrote to Parliament with their concerns, turning it around

In a letter to the committee, Salmond attorney David Mckie of Levy & McRae said the Crown’s intervention “was a significant surprise and concern as there was a clear agreement on the publication of our clients’ contributions, which is now much about reported is the public domain “”

He said Salmond was “alarmed by the Crown Office’s interference in a parliamentary inquiry, particularly given Lady Dorrian’s judgment last week, in which she clarified her earlier decision and indicated that the publication of papers was largely a matter for the committee “”

“Our client’s submissions fully took this judgment into account. Our client’s final submission already illustrates their concerns about the Crown office’s role in this matter” ”

McKie told the committee, “This is our client’s submission and he has the right to have it published. If any aspect of it is removed it will affect his oral testimony

“We have asked for assurances from the committee on these issues on several occasions. After posting its contributions yesterday, we did not inappropriately conclude that the problem was partially resolved to the satisfaction of our client and that he was able to fulfill his oath

“Your email may change this – and fundamentally – we must URGENTLY see the legal basis for the proposed editorial offices so that we can advise our customers appropriately and provide further explanations

“These could have a significant impact on whether he can participate tomorrow From today’s perspective, we have advised him that the apparent intervention by the Crown suggests that there must be a substantial risk for him to speak to his submission

The bipartisan Harassment Committee is investigating the Scottish Government’s flawed investigation into allegations of misconduct by two officials against Salmond

He postponed the exercise in January 2019, after a judicial review found it “illegal” and “biased”

In later criminal proceedings, the former SNP leader was acquitted of 13 sexual assaults

After the Scottish government admitted judicial review, Nicola Sturgeon referred to independent ministerial code advisors on allegations that she had broken strict rules when meeting Salmond over the complaints

James Hamilton, a former chief prosecutor in Ireland, has been tasked with investigating the First Minister’s actions

In his submission to Hamilton, Salmond said the Prime Minister had repeatedly breached the Ministerial Code and misled the MSPs about meetings between the two at Sturgeon

A Crown Office spokesman said they would not confirm what they may have done about concerns

Last week’s decision to publish it sparked angry reaction from the SNP and a number of women who work in the parliamentary estate

On Monday, some MSP employees took to Twitter and urged the SPCB to reconsider

Last updated:

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Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland, Scottish National Party, Alex Salmond, Scottish Parliament, Scottish Government, Lockdown, Coronavirus

News – UK – The appearance of the Alex Salmond Committee is dubious as Holyrood pulls the investigation file
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