Sturgeon under fire over ‘ridiculous’ Salmond claims after awkward interview resurfaces
Nicola Sturgeon grilled on Alex Salmond by Andrew Marr
Nicola Sturgeon is expected to hit out at “absolute nonsense” claims suggesting she misled the Scottish Parliament about her knowledge of sexual harassment allegations concerning predecessor Alex Salmond. The former SNP leader accused the First Minister of having breached the ministerial code with “ridiculous” statements as he claimed Ms Sturgeon had been informed about the allegations against him months after the date she reported when giving evidence in Parliament. Conservative MSP Jamie Green appeared to lend his support to Mr Salmond as he shared footage from a November interview Ms Sturgeon had with BBC host Andrew Marr in which she appeared fidgety when confronted about her statement in Holyrood.
Simply commenting “Nicola Sturgeon on Alex Salmond”, Mr Green republished video where Ms Sturgeon was confronted about testifying she had known about the allegations as early as November 2017 before changing her version.
In the 2018 interview, Ms Sturgeon said: “I’ve said previously that until Alex Salmond informed about these complaints in April, that was the first I had known.”
But in 2020, Andrew Marr called the First Minister out about her previous statements.
Mr Marr said: “You’ve given written submission to the enquiry saying that you knew in November 2017.
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“You told me you knew in April, six months later.”
Mr Marr continued: “There is a big gap between what you said to the enquiry and what you said to my viewers.
“I asked you what you knew about Alex Salmond at that time. I didn’t narrow it down at that point.
“It seems to me that there is a gap between presentation, very, very good presentation, when it comes to Coronavirus data, when it comes to education, when it comes to the Alex Salmond issue…there is a gap between how you present yourself and what’s really been going on in Scotland.”
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Answering at the time, Ms Sturgeon said: “When I spoke to you then I was speaking about the issues that had been raised under the Scottish Government processes. I have set out written evidence on that and I will give oral evidence to the inquiry.
‘What I have also set out in that written evidence was that Sky News back in November the previous year had raised a query about allegations about Alex Salmond.
“They never at that time ran that story and that’s what I have set out in the written evidence that I was aware of back then. So you are conflating two separate issues.”
The publication of the video spurred some social media users to urge Ms Sturgeon to consider resigning.
One user wrote: “Time for her to go. Party time.”
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Another commented: “Marr absolutely nailed it, our friends in England believe she’s some sort of messiah and doing a great job, the amount who tell me how wonderful she is is frightening.
“Reality, of course, is massively different, great at presenting a myth she’s doing a great job when she’s not…”
Another added: “A good liar needs an excellent memory. I have yet to meet a good liar.”
And one user simply commented: “She must go!”
Deputy First Minister John Swinney however defended Nicola Sturgeon and insisted she will testify “clearly, openly and transparently” when she is questioned about her knowledge of the Alex Salmond allegations in Committee later this month.
Mr Swinney said: “The First Minister looks forward to setting out, in detail, all of the views and perspectives she has on this issue, to put to rest some of the absolute nonsense that has been circulating about this particular issue.’
“We’ve got to remember that we faced a very difficult situation of having to investigate complaints about inappropriate behaviour, a lot of which have now been conceded by Alex Salmond in court, and that issue had to be addressed.
“An incredibly difficult situation and the First Minister will set out exactly her perspective when it comes to all the relevant inquiries into this issue.”
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