Monday, October 26, 2020

Nicola Sturgeon denies Alex Salmond warfare is distracting her from pandemic

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Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon launching the independence White Paper earlier than the 2014 referendum – PANicola Sturgeon has denied her escalating public warfare with Alex Salmond is distracting her from the coronavirus disaster amid calls for for an investigation into her conduct to be widened.Speaking the day after she used a dwell TV interview to ship a unprecedented assault on her former mentor, the First Minister insisted she was “laser-focused on dealing with this pandemic”.She insisted she was merely answering her interviewer’s questions “as fully as possible” after she claimed Mr Salmond was offended along with her as a result of she refused to “collude” with him to make sexual harassment claims “go away.”But her insistence she was centered on the pandemic got here as two members of the Holyrood inquiry into the scandal backed an investigation into claims she misled parliament over when she discovered concerning the allegations towards Mr Salmond.Last yr Ms Sturgeon referred herself for investigation underneath the ministerial code of conduct over three conferences, together with two at her home, and two telephone calls she held with Mr Salmond.She admitted no minutes have been stored of their secret discussions concerning the Scottish Government’s inquiry into the misconduct allegations towards him, regardless of the code specifying {that a} report needs to be made if authorities enterprise was considerably talked about.Contradictory statements made by the First Minister counsel that information of the complaints towards Mr Salmond have been recognized about even earlier than 29 March. That being the case then it is necessary that the ministerial code investigation is widened, @agcolehamilton is correct about that. https://t.co/NNc5aC61Mz— Jackie Baillie (@jackiebmsp) October 12, 2020Alex Cole-Hamilton, a Liberal Democrat member of the inquiry, stated the remit of this investigation needs to be expanded to cowl Ms Sturgeon telling parliament she discovered concerning the claims at a gathering at her home on April 2, 2018.Story continuesShe has since admitted that Mr Salmond’s former chief of workers knowledgeable her concerning the claims in a gathering on Mar 29 that yr, however claimed she had “forgotten” about this earlier dialogue. Jackie Baillie, a Labour inquiry member, backed Mr Cole-Hamilton’s name.Asked concerning the questions over conduct, Ms Sturgeon advised her each day Covid-19 briefing yesterday: “It hasn’t been a distraction. “I’m focused on dealing with the pandemic and whether you’re one of people who think I don’t get anything right, or one oof the people who think I get everything right, or the vast majority who probably think it’s somewhere in the middle, I think everybody would say that I’m pretty laser-focused on dealing with this pandemic.”Despite volunteering to read out her private messages with Mr Salmond, she said that she was “not in control of the questions I get asked in television interviews”.Nicola Sturgeon appearing on Sky News on SundayMr Cole-Hamilton said James Hamilton, the independent advisor on the ministerial code, has been tasked with investigating potential breaches relating to a “series of meetings” between Ms Sturgeon and Mr Salmond.”However, the revelations of recent weeks suggest that the First Minister may also have misled Parliament about what she knew and when,” he said.”In light of these revelations, which could represent a further breach of the ministerial code, I believe the remit of Mr Hamilton’s inquiry should be widened to include these prospective breaches.”A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The First Minister stands by what she has said to Parliament and by her written evidence to the committee, and looks forward to answering questions at the committee when they decide to ask her to appear. We will consider Mr Cole-Hamilton’s parliamentary questions and respond to him in the normal way.”

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