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by Chris Marshall
18 February 2021
Salmond offered new date to appear before MSPs

Salmond has been invited to appear next week. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA

Salmond offered new date to appear before MSPs

Former First Minister Alex Salmond has again been invited to appear before a committee investigating the Scottish Government's handling of harassment complaints against him.

The MSPs have asked Salmond to give evidence next Wednesday, despite again voting narrowly against publishing further written submissions from him.

Following a legal challenge by The Spectator, judge Lady Dorrian ruled that it was up to the committee, not the courts, to decide on the publication of further evidence. 

But the committee's four SNP MSPs and independent Andy Wightman last night voted 5-4 in favour of not publishing further written evidence.

A Scottish Parliament spokesperson said: “The committee considered the detail of Lady Dorrian’s ruling and its impact on the committee’s decision not to publish Mr Salmond’s evidence on the ministerial code.

"The majority of the committee is clear that the judgement has no impact on its previous decision and understanding of its legal obligations and its decision on the publication of the submission from the former First Minister on the ministerial code. The scope of the order has not changed.

“However, the committee is keenly aware that publication is for the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body and has tonight agreed to refer this to the SPCB for a decision on its publication."

The committee was set up to examine what went wrong with a Scottish Government investigation into harassment complaints which was later ruled "unlawful" at the Court of Session and cost the taxpayer over £500,000 in legal fees.

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