Nicola Sturgeon: 'I have nothing to hide' over Salmond probe role

Nicola Sturgeon has insisted she has "nothing to hide" over her role in a complaints probe into Alex Salmond, amid claims that her version of events do not bear the "slightest scrutiny”.

Thursday, 8th October 2020, 1:57 pm
Updated Thursday, 8th October 2020, 5:43 pm
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during First Minster's Questions
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during First Minster's Questions

Tory leader Ruth Davidson said today it was "beyond belief" the First Minister should claim to have "forgotten" a meeting where she was first told about harassment claims against her predecessor.

The First Minister had claimed previously she first became aware of the claims when Mr Salmond himself told her about them during a meeting at her Glasgow home on 2 April 2018.

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Analysis: What Nicola Sturgeon's evidence to the Alex Salmond inquiry tells us

It has since emerged that Mr Salmond's ex-adviser Geoff Aberdein first made her aware that complaints had been made a few days beforehand as he brokered the meeting.

Ms Sturgeon stated in written evidence to a Holyrood probe investigating the Scottish Government's handling of complaints against Mr Salmond that she "forgot" about the initial meeting.

But this was dismissed by Ms Davidson today at First Minister’s Questions.

"This does not even bear the lightest scrutiny - it is beyond belief," Ms Davidson said.

She read an account of the meeting with Mr Aberdein, which indicated the conversation had been around the "fact of the complaints, without discussing the specifics of them", as well as the process of the investigation and that it was led by civil servants.

Ms Sturgeon said she understood that people may "raise an eyebrow" at her, saying she forgot the "fleeting, opportunistic" meeting with Mr Aberdeen, with critics claiming it should be "seared on her memory”.

But she said: "There is something seared on my memory - it's the meeting that took place three days later when Alex Salmond himself sat in my own home and gave me the details of the complaints against him and also gave me his response to aspects of those complaints.

"That is what is seared in my memory and I think most reasonable people would understand that."

The First Minister said she looked forward to giving evidence before the committee and was ready to answer any questions.

"I will sit before a committee whenever the committee decides to call me and I will do that on oath and I will give my account of everything that happened,” she said.

"I've got nothing to hide in all of this."

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