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by Chris Marshall
12 February 2021
Salmond inquiry in 'danger of failing'

Alex Salmond speaking outside the Court of Session. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA

Salmond inquiry in 'danger of failing'

The Holyrood committee set up to investigate the Scottish Government's botched handling of harassment complaints against Alex Salmond is "in danger of failing".

Committee member Murdo Fraser told Good Morning Scotland that the investigation had been undermined by "lies, contradictions and obstructions".

But Fraser said he remained hopeful Salmond would appear to give evidence following a decision yesterday by judge Lady Dorrian which appears to pave the way for more submissions to be made public.

Fraser said:  “It’s all been my view that (Salmond) is a key witness to this inquiry and the committee will not be able to conclude its work properly and draw up a report on what’s happened without his evidence."

Fraser said that following Lady Dorrian's ruling and remarks by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at Holyrood on Wednesday, he now believed the committee had the "green light" to invite Salmond once again.

The former First Minister was due to appear earlier this week but cancelled after the committee voted narrowly against publishing further written submissions.

Mr Fraser said:  “We were told yesterday by Mr Salmond’s lawyers that he was now open to giving evidence. I hope we can follow through on that. We need to get to the truth of this whole affair – this farce has gone on far too long.

"This committee has had to put up with lies, contradictions, with obstructions, with witnesses coming and giving us evidence that is incorrect, that they have then had to correct in writing."

Asked if the committee was in danger of failing in its work, he said: “The committee has been in danger of failing for a long time for all the reasons I’ve set out - because of the woeful lack of cooperation from the Scottish Government, despite promises from the First Minister that the government and the SNP would cooperate with this committee."

The committee is to hold an emergency meeting today. 

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