THE FOUR Orkney petitioners who brought the court challenge against Alistair Carmichael’s election said they had lost on the “slimmest of legal technicalities”.
In a statement after their case was dismissed, the four said they had won on the majority of points put before the judges.
They said: “The case has been lost on the slimmest of legal technicalities. It is more of a loss for Alistair Carmichael than a win.
“We are disappointed but see the win as caveated by damning comments on Mr Carmichael’s behaviour by the judges.”
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron meanwhile said the ruling by judges at the Election Court was the “right outcome”.
Scottish leader Willie Rennie said: “The Scottish judicial system has vindicated Alistair’s election as MP for Orkney and Shetland.”
Mr Carmichael is the only remaining Lib Dem MP north of the border after the SNP landslide in May’s general election.
Constituents in his Orkney and Shetland constituency had claimed he misled voters with his actions surrounding the leaking of a confidential memo which wrongly claimed First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she wanted David Cameron to remain in Downing Street.
They argued his actions called into question his integrity as an individual and his suitability to represent the constituency at Westminster.
While judges said Mr Carmichael had told a “blatant lie” in the course of a Channel 4 interview on April 5 this year regarding the leaked memo, the petition was dismissed.
The ruling said it had not been proved beyond reasonable doubt he had committed an “illegal practice”.
Mr Rennie said the MP, his family and friends had endured a “difficult time” as a result of a “politically-motivated and often ugly legal campaign”.
He added: “His top priority now, as it always has been, is doing what he does best; standing up for the people of Orkney and Shetland and being a strong Scottish liberal voice in Parliament.”