Alex Salmond inquiry: Demand for release of legal advice by Friday

The Holyrood inquiry investigating the Scottish Government's botched handling of harassment complaints against Alex Salmond has requested that withheld legal advice be produced in the next two days.

The Holyrood Salmond inquiry is asking for the government's legal advice by this Friday.
The Holyrood Salmond inquiry is asking for the government's legal advice by this Friday.

In a letter to Deputy First Minister John Swinney, chair of the committee Linda Fabiani says that as a result of a parliamentary vote, the Scottish Government must now disclose its legal advice that saw it lose a judicial review and pay the former first minister more than £500,000.

The SNP MSP writes that despite repeated refusals to provide the advice by the Scottish Government as not being in the public interest and also against the Ministerial Code, it must now be produced.

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In the passing of the resolution, brought by the Scottish Conservatives last week, Mr Swinney said he would "consider the implications of the motion with my ministerial colleagues” and “advise the Parliament accordingly of our response”.

Ms Fabiani states in the letter: “The committee assumes that the outcome of the government’s deliberations on the will of Parliament will soon be forthcoming.

"Given the committee is taking evidence from the Lord Advocate and the Permanent Secretary on Tuesday 17 November on the judicial review, the committee requests that the Scottish Government provides the legal advice without further delay and by Friday 13 November at the latest to allow members sufficient opportunity to consider it."

A Scottish Government spokesperson said a reply would be made “in due course”. "As the Deputy First Minister has made absolutely clear, Ministers always seek to respect the decisions of Parliament, and are therefore now considering their response on this issue, consistent with their obligations under the Ministerial Code.”

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