Alistair Carmichael denies lying over leaked memo

Carmichael is accused of issuing an illegal statement. Picture: Getty
Carmichael is accused of issuing an illegal statement. Picture: Getty
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FORMER Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael has insisted that he “did not make a false statement” as he submitted his formal response to a legal bid to oust him as an MP after he was found to be behind a leaked memo about Nicola Sturgeon.

Mr Carmichael is facing the attempt to force him to leave office as the MP for Orkney and Shetland, after he was identified as the source of a leaked memo claiming the First Minister secretly wanted David Cameron to win last month’s election.

A campaign group called The People vs Carmichael launched the legal action in an attempt to overturn the MP’s election victory, claiming that he made an “admittedly false statement of fact in relation to his personal character as a candidate”, an illegal practice which is contrary to Section 106 of the Representation of People Act 1983.

The petition calls for the result to declared null and void because Mr Carmichael had denied prior knowledge of the leak in a TV interview, which it says was a “deliberate attempt to conceal the truth”.

However, Mr Carmichael yesterday insisted he had not made any false statements during last month’s election campaign, when he was returned with a majority of just 817 over the SNP.

The MP’s formal response said: “There has been no breach of section 106 of the Representation of the People Act 1983.

“Alistair Carmichael did not make a false statement of fact in relation to the personal character or conduct of a candidate, before or during an election, for the purpose of affecting the return of any candidate at the election.”