Sturgeon says inquiry into her role in Salmond complaints should not be limited

By Neil Pooran, PA Scotland Political Reporter
·1-min read

The First Minister has said an investigation into her role in the handling of complaints against her predecessor Alex Salmond should not be “limited to one aspect of the ministerial code”.

Earlier this month, Mr Salmond requested the independent adviser looking into Nicola Sturgeon’s conduct widen the scope of the inquiry.

The former first minister was the subject of an investigation by civil servants after allegations of sexual misconduct, which he later successfully challenged in court.

legislation to ban smacking of children
Oliver Mundell raised the issue at FMQs (Jane Barlow/PA)

After the legal action, Ms Sturgeon referred herself to independent advisers on the ministerial code.

A remit set out by Deputy First Minister John Swinney earlier this year said Ms Sturgeon’s role, if any, in the investigation into Mr Salmond would be scrutinised.

On Thursday, Conservative MSP Oliver Mundell raised the issue at First Minister’s Questions.

He asked if she would agree to expand the inquiry “to include her statements to Parliament and her actions on the legal advice regarding the judicial review into Alex Salmond’s alleged behaviour”.

The First Minister said she did not think James Hamilton, who is carrying out the investigation, should be “restricted” in his work.

Ms Sturgeon said: “If he considers that requires any change to his official remit I’m sure he is perfectly able to say that.

“But just for the record and to be clear, I do not consider his remit to be limited to just one aspect of the ministerial code.”

A Holyrood committee is carrying out a separate investigation into the Scottish Government’s handling of harassment complaints against the former First Minister.