Under pressure at First Minister’s Questions, a defensive Nicola Sturgeon denied a cover up over when she found out about sexual misconduct claims against Alex Salmond.
Ruth Davidson said the evidence that has been censored was the most damaging to Sturgeon as it showed she misled the Scottish Parliament and broke the Ministerial Code.
The First Minister tried to claim that the information – which has been redacted from the Scottish Parliament website – was not being covered up.
The censored evidence includes accounts of the secret meeting between Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond’s former chief of staff in March 2018, which she kept hidden from the public and the Scottish Parliament.
Sturgeon did agree to publish evidence submitted to James Hamilton QC over Ministerial Code breaches but only when the investigation concludes.
Scottish Conservative Holyrood leader Ruth Davidson said: “The First Minister denied a cover up, ignoring all the evidence that has been censored, submissions that have been redacted, requests for material which have been refused and dismissing the dozens of times her government has shut down scrutiny.
“Key evidence censored this week doesn’t risk identifying complainers, it only risks damaging the First Minister.
“The censored evidence matters because it’s exactly what exposes Nicola Sturgeon.
“It shows she didn’t first find out about complaints made to the Scottish Government regarding Alex Salmond in April 2018, as she claimed repeatedly on the BBC and in Parliament.
“She actually found out at a secret meeting in March 2018. And, four months earlier than that, in November 2017, she even discussed sexual harassment complaints against Alex Salmond with her chief executive, chief civil servant and chief of staff.
“She added to the secrecy around this whole affair today by disputing that a complainant’s name was revealed to Alex Salmond’s team, despite witness statements to back that claim, and without giving any evidence to support her refutation.
“For Nicola Sturgeon, this has become all about saving her own skin, no matter how much parliament’s standing is diminished and government’s reputation is tainted.”