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by Andrew Learmonth
04 May 2021
Alex Salmond tells US magazine he has the power to 'destroy' Nicola Sturgeon

Alex Salmond tells US magazine he has the power to 'destroy' Nicola Sturgeon

Alex Salmond has told a US magazine he has the power to “destroy” Nicola Sturgeon.

The comment in an interview with The New Yorker magazine was criticised by politicians close to the First Minister, including health secretary Jeane Freeman. 

She tweeted: “Read it. Not one scintilla of personal awareness, honest reflection or personal responsibility. Quite the opposite demonstrated in those words. Utterly shameful.”

The Alba leader is holding a press conference later today, where questions over the remark are sure to come up. 

In the profile of Sturgeon, Salmond also claimed his successor had made no progress in advancing the case for independence.

He said: “The problem that Nicola has, and it is one entirely of her own making, is that the case for independence hasn’t advanced one iota since 2014.”

Much of the magazine profile focuses on the collapse of the relationship between the two, following the harassment claims made against Salmond and the Scottish Government’s botched probe, ruled unlawful at the court of session. 

During a Holyrood inquiry into the row, he accused Sturgeon of breaching multiple aspects of the ministerial code, including lying to parliament.

He also described a “prolonged, malicious, and concerted” conspiracy to remove him from public life.

Asked by The New Yorker why he had tried to destroy his former protégée, Salmond "chuckled for several seconds" before responding: “If I wanted to destroy her, that could have been done.”

In the interview, Sturgeon said she felt close to being "broken" at the height of the row.

Salmond first told Sturgeon about the government’s investigation at her home in Glasgow on 2 April 2018.

She told the magazine: “I remember leaving the room at one point. I think I said that I was going to make a cup of tea, and going to the bathroom and feeling physically sick.”

She added: “I think my political opponents—I don’t know, maybe Alex himself . . . There was an element of ‘We can break her,’ you know? 

“Almost kind of personally as well as politically. That was how it felt. And, you know, there were days when they might have come closer than they knew. But they didn’t.”

Meanwhile, Alba has again criticised the BBC’s decision not to allow Alex Salmond a spot at tonight’s debate of the party leaders. 

The party last night projected their logo on the corporation’s Pacific Quay headquarters in Glasgow.  

Read the most recent article written by Andrew Learmonth - The oldest Tory in Holyrood: An interview with Jackson Carlaw

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