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by Chris Marshall
19 March 2021
Tories have 'weaponised' harassment committee to attack Sturgeon

Tories have 'weaponised' harassment committee to attack Sturgeon

Opposition MSPs have been accused of prejudging Holyrood's harassment inquiry in an effort to damage First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

SNP MP Drew Hendry said the Scottish Conservatives had sought to "weaponise" the process from the outset. 

Last night it emerged members of the committee had voted five to four that Sturgeon misled the committee itself and therefore parliament.

The committee is investigating the Scottish Government's botched handling of harassment complaints against former First Minister Alex Salmond.

Speaking on Radio 4's Today programme, Hendry said the leak of information from the committee was indicative of how "certain members have abused this process".

Asked whether Sturgeon should resign, he said:  "There is a much more important independent inquiry going on from James Hamilton QC, and I think we should await the outcome of that inquiry before asking such questions.

"The very fact that the Tories, since minute one, have prejudged this inquiry…tells you everything you need to know about the way they’ve approached this committee process.

"I’m attacking the way this has been prejudged. It’s indicative of the way this whole thing has been weaponised by Douglas Ross and the Tories since the start of the process. This has not been conducted by the Tories in any spirit of trying to get to the facts."

He added: “I’ve no doubt that Nicola Sturgeon is correct in absolutely everything she has been saying about this, that she’s been clear, open, transparent and honest with the committee and everyone else all the way through this."

Following news of the committee's findings last night, Douglas Ross re-iterated his party's call for Sturgeon to resign.

He said: "The committee will publish its findings in the coming days and we will wait for that report. However, we are really only waiting for confirmation of what we already know. 

"We have detailed that the First Minister misled the Scottish Parliament. Nicola Sturgeon has not told the public the truth about what she knew and when. 

"We cannot set a precedent that a First Minister of Scotland can mislead the Scottish Parliament and get away with it. 

"We have called out the First Minister based on the overwhelming evidence that she misled Parliament. We will continue to hold her to the same standards as previous First Ministers of Scotland and demand that she resigns."

 

Read the most recent article written by Chris Marshall - Is systemic racism to blame for the lack of diversity in the Scottish Parliament?

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