Alex Salmond cleared of Lotto party code breach

Alex Salmond was found not to be in breach of the code for inviting Chris Weir and his wife to Bute House
Alex Salmond was found not to be in breach of the code for inviting Chris Weir and his wife to Bute House
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ALEX Salmond has been cleared of breaching the Scottish ministerial code after inviting EuroMillions winners Colin and Chris Weir to tea at his official Bute House residence in Edinburgh.

• Couple donated £1 million to the SNP four days after the visit in September last year

Bute House

Bute House

• Labour MSP Paul Martin complained that the trip to the Edinburgh residence broke the rules by using public facilities to chase political donations

The couple donated £1 million to the SNP four days after the visit in September last year. Labour MSP Paul Martin complained that it broke the rules by using public facilities to chase political donations.

But former Lord Advocate, Dame Elish Angiolini, now an independent adviser to the Scottish Government on the ministerial code, has found there was no breach during this meeting. She ruled that Bute House can be used by ministers to host personal or party events – provided that no cost falls to the public purse.

Her report adds: “The tea and biscuits were provided from the First Minister’s private resources stored in his apartment at Bute House.”

Mr Salmond said it is the fifth complaint to be referred to the independent panel of advisers he introduced in 2008 to rule on these matters.

“I am delighted that each complaint has been dismissed and the advisers concluded my ministers and I have acted entirely properly,” he said.