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by Jack Thomson
02 February 2021
Nicola Sturgeon could be accused of misleading parliament over Holyrood inquiry

Fraser Bremner/Scottish Daily Mail/PA Wire/PA Images

Nicola Sturgeon could be accused of misleading parliament over Holyrood inquiry

The First Minister could be accused of misleading parliament if her husband refuses to appear before the Holyrood committee investigating the handling of complaints against Alex Salmond for a second time. 

Peter Murrell, who is also the SNP's chief executive, was recalled after MSPs were not satisfied with some of the answers he gave in his first appearance at the Committee on the Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints. 

The Scottish Conservatives have said Murrell must appear again, adding that if he does not they will submit a motion for party business claiming that Nicola Sturgeon misled the parliament when she said in January 2019 that her government and party would "co-operate fully" with the inquiry.

They have also cited a statement Sturgeon made in October, when she said: "The SNP will also put forward answers to the questions that the committee asks of it and has already done so, as anybody can go to the committee’s website and see with their own two eyes. It will continue to co-operate fully."

Douglas Ross, leader of the Scottish Conservatives, said Sturgeon should "demand" that Murrell returns to the committee to provide further evidence.  

He said: "Nicola Sturgeon promised that her party would 'co-operate fully' with the inquiry. 

"If the SNP chief executive won’t even show up, that promise has clearly been broken and she has misled the Scottish Parliament.

"Nicola Sturgeon can change this. It’s her party. The chief executive works for her. She should demand he at least shows up. 

"We know why he doesn’t want to appear. Peter Murrell is running scared of claims that he perjured himself.

"The SNP cannot dodge scrutiny forever. Either the SNP chief executive faces the inquiry or the SNP leader apologises for misleading parliament."

Murrell was criticised after his first evidence session, which prompted Scottish Labour to ask the Crown Office whether he had "perjured himself". 

Interim leader Jackie Baillie had claimed his evidence was "clearly at odds with the facts" presented to the Holyrood inquiry.  

The SNP has been contacted for comment. 

Read the most recent article written by Jack Thomson - Leader of the flock: 25 years on from Dolly the Sheep

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