The Scottish Parliament committee that has investigated how complaints of sexual harassment were handled against the former prime minister of the region Alex Salmond concluded on Tuesday that his successor, Nicola Sturgeon, “lied” during the investigations.
The committee, made up of four members of the ruling Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) and five from opposition formations, had already advanced the content of its report last week, to which Sturgeon replied that it was a “partisan” result.RELATED
In officially publishing the document on Tuesday, the commission noted that Sturgeon “lied” to Parliament when he testified about a meeting he held with Salmond on April 2, 2018 at his private home in Glasgow. The committee has considered that, at that meeting, the prime minister hinted to her predecessor “that she would intervene if necessary” in the government investigation into the allegations of harassment against her by two employees. She has denied it.
The parliamentary commission has also stated that it is “hard to believe” that Sturgeon had no knowledge of Salmond’s alleged inappropriate behavior prior to November 2017 and has noted that “if he knew, he should have taken action” and “if he knew then he has misled the committee. ” The SNP deputies who are members of this commission have rejected these conclusions.
In statements to the media this Tuesday, the prime minister said that “she is going to leave politics to others today” and that, this Tuesday marking a year since the confinement began, her thoughts are with “the almost 10,000 families who have lost to a loved one because of the coronavirus. ” “My priority is to continue making decisions that help the country overcome these difficult times,” he said.
Faced with the committee’s findings, an independent investigation by former Ireland Attorney General James Hamilton has ruled this Monday that the prime minister and leader of the SNP did not violate the Ministerial Code in their handling of the complaints against Salmond. The former prosecutor was mandated to investigate whether Sturgeon would have tried to influence the investigation into those allegations and whether he deliberately lied by hiding a meeting on March 29, 2018 with the former independence leader, prior to the one mentioned on April 2.
This exoneration means that Sturgeon will not be forced to resign as head of the Scottish Government for violating the ethical code that governs the members of the Executive, although he faces a motion of censure on Tuesday in principle promoted by the conservative opposition. The Scottish Head of Government, who has a simple minority in the Home Rule Parliament, is expected to survive this motion with the support of her allies in the Green Party.
Salmond was acquitted of 13 sexual crimes in 2020, while the Scottish Government was sentenced to compensate him with 555,000 euros for having skipped the legal procedure in the internal investigation of two of those complaints.