First Minister must publish Ministerial Code evidence and Lord Advocate must face questions

Nicola Sturgeon must publish her Ministerial Code evidence over meetings with Alex Salmond throughout 2018, the Scottish Conservatives have said.

The party have also called again, following chief whip Miles Briggs request to the Presiding Officer yesterday, for the Lord Advocate to face questions about the Crown Office scandal in the Scottish Parliament today.

The Scottish Government have refused FOI requests to publish the First Minister’s submission to James Hamilton QC.

Despite the First Minister challenging Salmond to bring forward his evidence, she is refusing to release her own submission.

The Scottish Conservatives have previously accused Sturgeon of misleading Parliament and breaking the Ministerial Code on multiple occasions, particularly around what she knew of allegations against Salmond and when.

The First Minister originally claimed to find out from Salmond himself in April 2018. However, she actually held a secret meeting discussing the claims in March 2018.

Evidence to the inquiry also shows that she discussed allegations against Salmond in November 2017 with permanent secretary Leslie Evans, SNP chief executive Peter Murrell and her chief of staff, Liz Lloyd.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: “The SNP Government and the Crown Office are shutting down scrutiny at every turn.

“The Lord Advocate must face Parliament to explain why the Crown Office are strong arming Parliament and suppressing evidence – not to protect victims’ identities – but to protect Nicola Sturgeon.

“The First Minister broke cover this week in a panic to demand Alex Salmond bring forward his evidence, only for the Crown Office to shut it down.

“If she won’t release her own evidence on Ministerial Code breaches, she’s a hypocrite and once again, she’s trying to dodge scrutiny.  

“The burden of proof is on the First Minister. However much she protests and tries to deflect, this inquiry is about her government and the Ministerial Code investigation is on her actions.

“This looks more and more like a cover up every day. Our Parliament is in crisis because of the secrecy and sleaze running throughout the ruling party of government.”

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