Alex Salmond inquiry: Nicola Sturgeon was as assured as ever but this is not over yet – Scotsman comment

Nicola Sturgeon gave her usual polished, clear and empathetic performance when she appeared before the Scottish Parliament committee investigating her government’s mishandling of complaints made against Alex Salmond.

Nicola Sturgeon takes the oath before giving evidence to the MSPs' committee investigating the Scottish government's mishandling of harassment complaints about Alex Salmond (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/PA)
Nicola Sturgeon takes the oath before giving evidence to the MSPs' committee investigating the Scottish government's mishandling of harassment complaints about Alex Salmond (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/PA)

Over nearly eight hours, there was no startling revelation or moment when she struggled to answer a forensic line of questioning by an MSP

But there remain questions about her actions that are still to be judged and about which people are understandably concerned.

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For example, during the hearing, she admitted some may find it “hard to believe” she forgot about a meeting with Salmond’s former chief of staff Geoff Aberdeen in which she said he told her about a “harassment-type incident” involving her predecessor and that he wanted to speak to her about it. She had initially insisted the first she heard of the allegations was at a meeting with Salmond a few days later.

The First Minister is, after all, known for her command of detail as she showed during yesterday’s hearing.

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Nicola Sturgeon: 'I am not going to apologise for the behaviour of Alex Salmond'

Salmond has accused her of repeatedly misleading parliament and breaking the ministerial code, which she denies, but that was known before she took the oath at the start of proceedings, which did not produce any earth-shattering insights on that front.

However, we should get a definitive answer when James Hamilton QC concludes his investigation into her alleged breaches of the code. And the Salmond inquiry report itself may have some strong words about the fiasco that saw the Scottish government waste hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money in its defence of the judicial review of the flawed complaints process brought by the former First Minister. This is not over yet.

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