First Minister urged to investigate Donald Trump purchases
Nicola Sturgeon has been urged to investigate purchases made by Donald Trump in Scotland on the day the President leaves office.
Leading QC Aidan O’Neill has said the decision on whether to seek an Unexplained Wealth Order was “a matter only for the Scottish ministers”.
At First Minister’s Questions, Scottish Green leader Patrick Harvie said Trump’s purchases had not been investigated, “in spite of serious concerns about how they were funded.”
He asked whether Sturgeon had seen O’Neill’s legal advice, adding: “Will the First Minister stop hiding behind her officials and seek an Unexplained Wealth Order to ensure that Trump’s purchases in Scotland are given the scrutiny they urgently need?”
The First Minister said she was aware of the advice, but insisted the decision was for the Lord Advocate.
She said: “The government has its own sources of legal advice and what I’ve set out before is how investigation and decisions around Unexplained Wealth Orders are taken.
“These are matters that lie with the Lord Advocate, but I’m happy to look in more detail at any information that is put to me and if there are further points I think it’s appropriate to make, I will do so.”
Sturgeon also congratulated President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris ahead of their inauguration later today.
She said: “Many of us across the chamber and across Scotland will be very happy to say cheerio to Donald Trump today. I think ‘don’t haste ye back’ might be the perfect rejoinder to him.
“In advance of the inauguration later on, I’m sure we all want to send our congratulations to soon-to-be President Biden and soon-to-be Vice President Kamala Harris.
“Kamala Harris in particular today doesn’t just become the Vice President – she makes history in a number of different ways and she has my warm congratulations on that.”
As the First Minister was responding to questions in the chamber, President Trump left the White House for the final time.
Sturgeon was also questioned on the rollout of the vaccine during the session, following concerns supplies have not been reaching GPs.
She said the government was on track to have all those on the JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) priority one and two list vaccinated by the first few days of February, while 75 per cent of GP surgeries had now either received a supply or were in the process of getting one.
Scottish Conservative Holyrood leader Ruth Davidson said: “For a fortnight, the SNP have had hundreds of thousands of vaccine doses, and they’re not reaching GPs quickly enough. That won’t be fixed by the First Minister’s spin, dodging of valid questions and downplaying of legitimate criticism.
“The country needs to hear answers, not more shifting of blaming and moving targets.”