Alex Salmond plans new court fight with Scottish Government

Alex Salmond has offered to take the Scottish Government to court in a row over the release of legal documents - if Holyrood chiefs foot the bill.

Tuesday, 8th September 2020, 11:39 am
Alex Salmond is offering to go back to court
Alex Salmond is offering to go back to court

The former First Minister makes the offer in a letter to the Holyrood committee looking into the handling of harassment complaints made against him. The Scottish Government suffered a dramatic court defeat last year over the the way it handled the complaints against Mr Salmond by civil servants and he wants documents from that case released to MSPs on the specially convened committee.

The letter, from Mr Salmond's lawyer David McKie of Levy and McRae, says there is "no reason" why the Scottish Government cannot provide the documents.

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One option suggested by Mr Salmond's representatives, is that Mr Salmond could provide a list of "relevant" documents and MSPs should then seek for the Scottish Government to release them.

"That is the quickest, and cheapest route for all," Mr McKie adds.

"The second option, which we are willing to undertake on behalf of the committee, would be for Mr Salmond to return to court to seek the express consent of the court to have those documents passed to the committee."

The letter suggest that legal precedent indicates that an application could be made to the Court of Session by Mr Salmond to force the handover of documents by the Government.

"That, however, will involve the drafting of a petition and a court appearance by Counsel," it adds.

"Those costs are not costs which it would be fair to ask our client to meet, simply to provide documents for which a Committee of the Scottish Parliament has asked and which the Scottish Government delays, or refuses, to provide.

"We also don’t know whether that hearing would be contested by the Scottish Government, adding to the costs. As a result, whilst we are more than content to make that application on behalf of the Committee, we would require clarification that all legal costs would be met by the Committee."

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