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by Liam Kirkaldy
06 October 2020
Scottish Tories call for Nicola Sturgeon to sack Peter Murrell

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

Scottish Tories call for Nicola Sturgeon to sack Peter Murrell

The Scottish Conservatives have labelled Peter Murrell’s position “untenable” following reports the SNP chief executive admitted to sending messages calling for the police to be pressured on the Alex Salmond case.

According to reports in the Daily Record, Murrell - who is married to Nicola Sturgeon - has confirmed he sent the leaked WhatsApp messages saying it was a “good time to be pressurising” the police.

The messages were made public after SNP MP Kenny MacAskill said he received an anonymous document claiming to show messages sent by Murrell in January 2019, on the day after Salmond was charged with sexual offences.

The first message said: “Totally agree folk should be asking the police questions... report now with the PF on charges which leaves police twiddling their thumbs. So good time to be pressurising them. Would be good to know Met looking at events in London.”

The second said: “TBH the more fronts he is having to firefight on the better for all complainers. so CPS action would be a good thing.”

Responding to reports in the Daily Record, Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross called on Nicola Sturgeon to sack Murrell.

He said: “The chief executive of the governing party has admitted sending messages calling for the police to be pressured into action against their former boss, Alex Salmond. 

“This is a shattering, extraordinary revelation and leaves Peter Murrell’s position as chief executive of the SNP completely untenable. 

“We must now be told what Nicola Sturgeon and Scottish Government ministers knew about these messages. Had they seen them? Did they know about them? Were they asked to pressure the police?

“Nicola Sturgeon has to take responsibility. This is her government, her party, and it’s up to her to do the right thing and immediately act.

“She oversees the actions of the SNP chief executive. There is nobody else to blame.

“The First Minister must sack Peter Murrell or her judgement is gone.”

Sturgeon last week faced questions over the matter at FMQs, telling Ruth Davidson: “As I understand it, the obtaining of those messages – and the passing of them to the currently a matter of police investigation.”

The FM added: “I am not standing here – and I do not think that it is reasonable – to be asked questions about things that other people might or might not have done.

"Call the people who the messages are purported to come from and ask them the questions; call me and I will answer for myself.”

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