Alex Salmond will no longer appear before committee on Tuesday

Emma O'Neill, PA Scotland
·2-min read

Alex Salmond has confirmed he will not appear before the Scottish Parliament Committee investigating the Scottish Government’s botched handling of harassment allegations against him on Tuesday.

The former first minister was expected to give evidence at the committee on the Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints.

However, on Monday morning, his lawyers confirmed he would no longer be appearing on Tuesday, after the government declined to publish his written evidence.

David McKie, of Levy & McRae, said that Mr Salmond “cannot take his oath to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth” until a number of concerns were addressed.

These include that the committee did not intend to publish Mr Salmond’s submission on the Ministerial Code, and clarification over legal concerns.

In a letter to the committee, Mr McKie wrote: “Allowing our client to proceed without clear direction from you as convener is to place him in legal jeopardy. We cannot responsibly do that.

“Our client remains willing to give evidence to the committee at any point up to the final date for evidence (currently fixed for 16th February).

“However, he cannot take his oath to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth unless and until you properly address in writing the legitimate concerns set out in this and our numerous previous letters.”

A Scottish Parliament spokeswoman said: “Mr Salmond has not confirmed that he will attend the committee meeting on Tuesday and he has raised a number of issues for clarification. Tuesday’s evidence session will therefore not go ahead.

“Mr Salmond had been contacted to make it clear that he can speak freely in committee about all of his contact with Nicola Sturgeon and his views on her actions.

“He was given the opportunity to make a lengthy opening statement on Tuesday and would have had four hours to answer questions in public. He was also invited to send more written evidence for publication after the meeting.

“The committee has already published two lengthy submissions from Mr Salmond and many, many pages of records and documents from him that he has been invited to speak freely about in Parliament on Tuesday.

“All of this written and oral evidence could then be reflected in the committee’s report.

“The committee continues to communicate with Mr Salmond’s representatives.”

Peter Murrell, husband of First Minister Ms Sturgeon, reappeared before the committee on Monday to clarify information given during his first appearance in December.