ALEX Salmond was last night under renewed pressure to sack a spin doctor who briefed against a young mother, after Labour called on Scotland’s top civil servant to investigate.
Permanent secretary Sir Peter Housden has been to ask to consider whether former journalist Campbell Gunn broke the code of conduct for special advisers when he passed false information about Clare Lally to a newspaper, after she spoke at a Better Together campaign event.
The First Minister remains adamant Mr Gunn is guilty only of a “mistake” and a “misjudgment” when he emailed a journalist to incorrectly allege that Ms Lally had an undeclared family relationship with former Labour lord provost Pat Lally.
Mr Gunn was ordered to apologise by Mr Salmond for sending the email on the day after Ms Lally appeared at the pro-UK rally in Glasgow. But his apology was rejected by Ms Lally who was subjected to torrents of abuse online after the false claim spread via social media.
Yesterday, the Labour Party urged Sir Peter to investigate. The party’s Holyrood business manager, Paul Martin MSP, wrote to the permanent secretary: “I believe it is clear that the intent of this email was to undermine the credibility of a member of the public, Clare Lally. In that regard, it was clearly a personal attack in contravention of the special advisers’ code.”