Committee agree not to publish Salmond submissions

The committee have referred the matter to the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body for final judgment.

Committee agree not to publish Salmond submissions Getty Images

A government committee investigating the botched handling of complaints against Alex Salmond have voted to not publish his submissions, despite a court ruling.

Mr Salmond made a submission on the ministerial code to the Committee on the Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints.

However, they concluded they would not publish due to legal concerns over the identity of complainers in Mr Salmond’s criminal trial last year, where he was cleared of 13 charges at the High Court in Edinburgh.

During a meeting on Wednesday, the committee concluded that they would not publish the submissions, but have also referred the matter to the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body for final judgment.

A Scottish Parliament spokeswoman said: “The Committee tonight considered the detail of Lady Dorrian’s ruling and its impact on the Committee’s decision not to publish Mr Salmond’s evidence on the ministerial code.

“The majority of the Committee is clear that the judgment has no impact on its previous decision and understanding of its legal obligations and its decision on the publication of the submission from the former first minister on the ministerial code.

“The scope of the order has not changed.

“However, the committee is keenly aware that publication is for the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body and has tonight agreed to refer this to the SPCB for a decision on its publication.”

The spokeswoman added that the committee had invited Mr Salmond to give evidence next week, after he refused to do so in previous weeks.

She said: “The committee is pleased to hear that Mr Salmond is willing to give evidence next Wednesday.

“He can, as a minimum, give evidence on all of his published submissions and records. As such, the committee plans to write to him tomorrow to invite him to attend next Wednesday.”

Nicola Sturgeon is also expected to appear to give evidence at the committee, but has also been postponed due to the ongoing legal matters.

A spokesman for the First Minister previously said: “This further delay is hugely frustrating.

“The First Minister was ready to give evidence on Tuesday and fully expected to be questioned about Mr Salmond’s evidence whether or not it had been published by the committee.

“She hopes the committee can resolve its issues with Mr Salmond quickly so that she can finally answer the questions that are being put to her, and get on with the job of supporting the country through the pandemic.”

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