Vote of No Confidence on Thursday

The Scottish Conservatives will hold a Vote of No Confidence in Deputy First Minister John Swinney on Thursday if the legal advice has not been published fully by then.

Now that the motion of No Confidence has been submitted, it can be brought to a vote at short notice through an emergency meeting of the Parliament bureau.

The Scottish Conservatives elected not to push for the vote today (Tuesday) since SNP ministers u-turned and agreed to provide some of the legal advice when it became apparent they would lose the Vote of No Confidence.

However, John Swinney has so far only agreed to hand over selected excerpts of the legal advice, which does not respect the will of two Scottish Parliament votes or meet the demands of the cross-party Salmond inquiry committee.

In response to Swinney’s statement last night, independent and former Green MSP Andy Wightman, who sits on the Salmond inquiry committee, said “keep that Motion of No Confidence on the table.”

The Scottish Parliament has said the selected sections of the legal advice will not be published tonight, meaning it will likely not be available before Nicola Sturgeon’s appearance at the Salmond inquiry tomorrow.  

On the legal advice, Scottish Conservative spokesman on the Salmond inquiry, Murdo Fraser MSP, said: “John Swinney’s response to the Scottish Parliament’s requests for the legal advice have been a disgrace from start to finish.

“He is showing contempt for the inquiry committee and the entire Parliament.

“The Deputy First Minister grandstanded about finally providing hand-picked parts of the legal advice, overlooking that he only acted when his job was on the line.

“Whatever he provides may not even be published before the First Minister’s evidence session, allowing her to avoid questions on it and dodge scrutiny yet again.

“The Scottish Conservatives will hold a No Confidence vote in the Deputy First Minister this Thursday if he has not respected the will of Parliament by then.”

On the Lord Advocate’s evidence this morning, Scottish Conservative spokesman on the Salmond inquiry, Murdo Fraser MSP, said: “It was extraordinary to hear Scotland’s top law officer refuse to say if disobeying a search warrant is a criminal offence.

“This government will trample over everything, even fundamental legal principles, to avoid admitting wrongdoing.

“What would lawyers acting for accused persons make of the Lord Advocate refusing to confirm that people should comply with search warrants?

“The repercussions of the Sturgeon-Salmond scandal could be felt in Scotland for years to come.”

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