Alex Salmond inquiry: MSPs must overcome obstructions to get to the truth – Brian Wilson
As the Alex Salmond inquiry complains of ‘obstruction’, Brian Wilson says MSPs must stick to their task
Exchanges at Holyrood produce few memorable lines but credit to Nicola Sturgeon for providing one for the footnotes of history.
Pressed by Ruth Davidson about obstruction faced by the committee inquiring into the Salmond case, Ms Sturgeon pleaded: “I do not think it is reasonable to be asked questions about what other people might or might not have done.”
The “other people” referred to was actually just one other person – ie Peter Murrell, chief executive of the SNP and spouse to Ms Sturgeon. She was not being asked to comment on the words of passing strangers.
There was a perfectly good reason for Ms Sturgeon to be asked to comment on – and condemn – words attributed to “other people” since she has responsibility for protecting the independent integrity of Police Scotland.
When the national force was formed, one of the fears was that it would become too exposed to political interference, which remains a valid concern.
In this case, the mighty Murrell is alleged to have messaged another senior SNP figure that it was “a good time to be pressurising” Police Scotland and “the more fronts he (Salmond) is having to firefight on, the better”.
Let us imagine it was the chief executive of another political party, and that Ms Sturgeon was not married to that individual. Would she be silent about what, prima facie, looks like a gross attempt at political interference in the work of the police?
Sturgeon, Murrell and their circle have had many months to organise their defences around this seedy affair. It is now up to MSPs to stick with the task, no matter how much “obstruction and frustration” they continue to encounter.
A message from the Editor:
Thank you for reading this article on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.
The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive. We are now more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism.
Subscribe to scotsman.com and enjoy unlimited access to Scottish news and information online and on our app. Visit www.u2swisshome.com/subscriptions now to sign up.
Subscribe to the Edinburgh Evening News online and enjoy unlimited access to trusted, fact-checked news and sport from Edinburgh and the Lothians. Visit www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/subscriptions now to sign up.
By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.
Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.