SNP hires Scottish law firm to deal with Holyrood inquiry into Alex Salmond affair

The SNP has hired one of Scotland’s biggest law firms to deal with the Holyrood inquiry into the Alex Salmond affair.

Friday, 2nd October 2020, 12:28 pm
Nicola Sturgeon's party are said to have hired a top law firm for the Holyrood inquiry into the Alex Salmond affair
Nicola Sturgeon's party are said to have hired a top law firm for the Holyrood inquiry into the Alex Salmond affair

Shepherd & Wedderburn have been hired by the party after MSPs demanded more evidence from Nicola Sturgeon’s husband, party chief executive Peter Murrell.

According to The Herald, the firm wrote to the inquiry this week on behalf of the SNP opposing some of the requests made to Mr Murrell.

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The legal firms says on its website that it has experts for both reputation management and defamation, with experience of dealing with complaints.

Former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

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According to the site, “these threats can be the result of disgruntled customers, unhappy employees, media attention, police investigations, regulatory investigations, operational issues, and highly sensitive litigation”.

The firm adds: “We are also experienced in advising companies and individuals who have been the subject of negative publicity in the media.

“Our lawyers can advise throughout the entire process, and routinely deal with public relations agencies and in-house communication teams to resolve issues quickly and effectively.”

The cross-party committee of inquiry is currently looking at how the Scottish Government botched an in-house probe into sexual misconduct claims made against Mr Salmond in 2018.

Nicola Sturgeon endured a difficult First Minister’s Questions yesterday as Holyrood Tory leader Ruth Davidson accused the SNP leader of a “shabby abuse of power” by withholding evidence.

The accusation towards the First Minister came just two days after the inquiry’s convener SNP MSP Linda Fabiani claimed the investigation was being “completely frustrated” by high-level “obstruction”.

Ms Sturgeon has denied obstructing the inquiry, insisting she had submitted “substantial written evidence” two months ago.

At FMQs, Ms Sturgeon was also asked to confirm that WhatsApp messages, which appeared to come from her husband suggesting he wanted Mr Salmond to be investigated by the Metropolitan Police and Crown Office, were genuine.

The First Minister insisted the leak of the messages was the subject of a police inquiry and she could not comment.

She said: “I don’t think it is reasonable for me to be asked questions about things that other people might or might not have done.”

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