Nicola Breached The Ministerial Code Its Time For Her To Resign!

Updated: Mar 4

By Dillon Kennedy

Nicola Sturgeon needs to resign, this is a blunt statement to make but it seems that she has misled parliament. This is of course according to her former mentor and former first minister Alex Salmond claims that she misled the Scottish parliament numerous times over her handling of the allegations against him. If these claims are proven to be true, these are likely to result in mounting pressure for Ms. Sturgeon to resign as First Minister and will bring an end to her long political career.

After these claims were made a spokesman for the first minister stated she rejects the allegations made by her predecessor and instead accused him of spinning false conspiracy theories. Let's look at the evidence which could be used to back up this supposed "conspiracy theory". The claims by Alex Salmond are contained in a submission to the Committee on the Scottish Government's Handling of Harassment Complaints which are tasked with investigating the handling of sexual harassment complaints against Mr. Salmond. In his evidence, he says Ms. Sturgeon broke the ministerial code by failing to record her meetings with him about the investigation in 2018, which was later ruled unlawful by a court. Alex Salmond also claims that the First Minister misled MSPs on several occasions by telling them that the first time she knew about the allegations against him was when he told her on 2 April 2018 but later stated that she had "forgotten" that she had, in fact, met Mr. Salmond's former chief of staff on the 29th of march, where they discussed the allegations. The Scottish government's own ministerial code states that meetings about government business should be recorded, and any minister found to have knowingly misled MSPs will be expected to offer their resignation.

Mr. Salmond also said that the First Minister had invited him to her Glasgow home on the 2nd April 2018, to discuss the government probe despite her telling parliament that she believed the meeting was a party matter. He states that Holyrood had been "repeatedly misled" about the nature of the meeting. Mr. Salmond has stated that "The First Minister's claim that it was ever thought to be about anything other than the complaints made against me is wholly false" and "The repeated representation to the Parliament of the meeting on the 2nd April 2018 as being a 'party' meeting because it proceeded in ignorance of the complaints is false and manifestly untrue." The pre-arranged meeting in the Scottish Parliament of 29th March 2018 was "forgotten" because acknowledging it would have rendered the claim made by the First Minister in Parliament ridiculous that it had been believed that the meeting on 2nd April was on SNP Party business and thus,held at her private residence. Mr. Salmond states "In reality all participants in that meeting were fully aware of what the meeting was about and why it had been arranged. The meeting took place with a shared understanding of the issues for discussion - the complaints made and the Scottish Government procedure which had been launched". He continues "The First Minister's claim that it was ever thought to be about anything other than the complaints made against me is wholly false". The failure to account for the meeting on 29th March 2018 when making a statement to Parliament, and thereafter failing to correct that false representation is further breaching the Ministerial Code.

Mr. Salmond also claims Ms. Sturgeon had offered to intervene in the Government's complaints process, something that Nicola Sturgeon has always denied. He said The First Minister's position on this is simply untrue. She did initially offer to intervene, in the presence of all those at the First Minister's house on the 2nd April 2018."Moreover, she did engage in following the process of the complaint and indeed reported the status of that process to me personally." In a submission on December 30 shared with the inquiry, Mr. Salmond said the breaches included failing to inform the civil service of his meetings with her, and allowing the Scottish Government to battle him in court despite legal advice that its case was likely to collapse.

Surely the First Minister should answer for these irregularities in her statement and appear in person to the committee. Both the Scottish Conservatives and Scottish Labour stance is that the First Minister would have to resign if the allegations made by Alex Salmond were true. Now I know what you are thinking. It's Alex Salmond's word against Nicola Sturgeon and who we should believe. But it is clear that the First Minister has misled parliament numerous times and surely her own ministerial code states that she should resign. So if these allegations are true, then I call on the First Minister to Resign.

Image Credit: LBC .