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by Louise Wilson
23 November 2020
Scottish Tories threaten government with legal action over Alex Salmond judicial review advice


Scottish Tories threaten government with legal action over Alex Salmond judicial review advice

The Scottish Conservatives have threatened to sue the government over its failure to publish the legal advice it received in relation to the judicial review involving Alex Salmond.

Leader Douglas Ross has instructed party officials to begin preparations for legal action.

MSPs voted in support of a motion which urged the government to publish all legal advice it received on the judicial review at the start of November.

Speaking after the debate, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said he would “consider the implications of the motion with my ministerial colleagues” but has yet to put the advice into the public domain.

The Scottish Tories have now allocated part of their debate time this week to the matter. MSPs will debate and vote on the publication of legal advice for the second time on Wednesday afternoon.

Ross said: “I have instructed the party to start preparations for launching legal action if the government refuses to listen to the Scottish Parliament and release these key documents.

“They have already ignored one vote in the Scottish Parliament. If they ignore a second vote this week, the Scottish Conservatives as the lead opposition party will seek to deliver what MSPs across the Scottish Parliament have demanded.”

The Scottish Government were forced to pay over £500,000 in legal expenses to the former first minister after a judicial review ruled a probe into allegations about his behaviour was unlawful.

A Holyrood committee was established to investigate what went wrong and chair of the committee, Linda Fabiani, has repeatedly expressed frustration with the government over “continual delays and obfuscation”.

Fabiani had previously written to Swinney seeking the release of the legal advice by Friday 13 November. This deadline was not met.

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