Tories: ‘Serious questions’ after Alex Salmond trial

Jackson Carlaw says Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP and the Scottish Government all have questions to answer.

“Serious questions” must be levelled at Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP and the Scottish Government following the Alex Salmond trial, the Scottish Tories have said.

Salmond was acquitted of all charges on Monday following an 11-day trial at the High Court in Edinburgh.

He had been accused of a series of sexual assaults, including one with intent to rape and an attempted rape.

Following the verdicts, Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw said there had been a “national political scandal”.

Sturgeon said she would welcome an inquiry, but said her focus was now on the coronavirus crisis.

Carlaw said: “As we all know, Scotland is dealing with a much more severe challenge today than this high-profile court case.

“That said, there are now some very serious questions facing the SNP, the Scottish Government and Nicola Sturgeon.

“The court case may be over, but for them this is just the beginning.

“Clearly, there is still a lack of information which needs to be fully interrogated, and the Scottish Parliament inquiry will provide that opportunity.

“This remains a national political scandal with profound questions of integrity for the First Minister and her SNP government.

“However, that opportunity must be deferred for the time being while all our efforts and resources concentrate on Covid-19.”

Sturgeon replaced Salmond as first minister in 2014 and said the court’s verdict” must be respected.

She added: “I am a strong believer in a rigorous, robust independent judicial process where complaints of this nature, if they come forward, are properly and thoroughly investigated, due process takes its course and a court reaches a decision.

“I have no doubt that there will be further discussion around this issue in due course, and I will welcome that, but that time is not now.

“This country faces a crisis right now that is bigger than anything we’ve ever faced before, and as first minister my duty to the public is to focus 100% on steering us through that crisis – and that is what I intend to do.”

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