Sturgeon snubs Salmond in Holyrood farewell speech
NICOLA Sturgeon has snubbed Alex Salmond in her farewell speech at Holyrood, despite crediting him with helping her secure the job of First Minister.
When she was confirmed as FM by the parliament in 2014, Ms Sturgeon was effusive in praising her predecessor, who had quit after the No vote in the independence referendum.
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She told MSPs: “I want to pay particular tribute to Alex Salmond today.
“Without the guidance and support that Alex has given me over more than 20 years, it is unlikely that I would be standing here.
“I owe him a personal debt of gratitude, and it is important to me to put my thanks to him on the public record today. Alex Salmond’s place in history as one of Scotland’s greatest leaders is secure, and rightly so.
“However, I have no doubt that he has a big contribution yet to make to politics in Scotland.
“I know that I will continue to seek his wise counsel, and—who knows?—from time to time he might seek mine too.”
But when Ms Sturgeon signed off after eight years as First Minister today, Mr Salmond’s name was conspicuously absent from the list of those she thanked.
In a special session following her 286th and final FMQs, she thanked her family, officials, SNP HQ, her special advisers and her Glasgow Southside constituency team.
She paid special tribute to John Swinney, calling him “the best Deputy First Minister and the best friend I could have wished for on this journey”.
She thanked another party - the Scottish Greens - for being her partners in the government.
She named a series of her private office staff, coming close to tears when she named the trio who worked with her most closely during the Covid lockdown.
She concluded by thanking the people of Scotland for placing their trust in her, whether they voted for her or not.
“Words will never adequately convey the gratitude and the awe I hold in my heart for the opportunity I have had to serve as your first minister. It truly has been the privilege of my lifetime.”
But Mr Salmond never earned a mention.
The pair had a bitter falling out after sexual misconduct claims were levelled against him in 2018 and he successfully challenged the Scottish Government’s flawed probe into them through a Court of Session judicial review.
That civil court case was followed by a criminal trial in which Mr Salmond was acquitted of multiple charges of sexual assault, then a Holyrood inquiry into the government’s conduct.
Mr Salmond accused Ms Sturgeon of misleading parliament - a resignation offence - and her husband, the then SNP chief executive Peter Murrell, of plotting to ruin and even jail him.
Mr Salmond now leads the Alba party he formed in 2021.