Alex Salmond inquiry: Lord Advocate to answer urgent question in Holyrood on Crown Office intervention

The Lord Advocate is set to answer questions from MSPs this afternoon in Holyrood on the Crown Office's intervention around Alex Salmond's written evidence to the harassment complaints committee.
Lord Advocate James Wolffe is to answer an urgent statement in Holyrood today.Lord Advocate James Wolffe is to answer an urgent statement in Holyrood today.
Lord Advocate James Wolffe is to answer an urgent statement in Holyrood today.

James Wolffe QC, who leads the Crown Office and is a member of the Scottish Government’s Cabinet by virtue of his position as Lord Advocate, will answer questions from 3:50pm, The Scotsman understands. However, his appearance is yet to be officially confirmed by the government.

The initial question that has been granted by Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh will be asked by interim Scottish Labour leader and committee member Jackie Baillie.

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She will ask “whether the Lord Advocate was consulted about the letter from the Crown Office to the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body in relation to the evidence from Alex Salmond published by the Parliament”.

The Scottish Government and the Lord Advocate have come under significant pressure to answer questions around the intervention, which saw the former first minister’s evidence on a potential breach of the ministerial code by Nicola Sturgeon removed, redacted and republished on Tuesday.

The fiasco followed an 11th-hour intervention by the Crown Office, which said it had “grave concerns” around the Scottish Parliament’s decision to publish the evidence.

The move also led to Mr Salmond pulling out from his planned appearance in front of the harassment complaints committee on Wednesday morning.

The committee is examining the botched handling of harassment complaints against Mr Salmond by the Scottish Government, which led to a £500,000 legal bill after the Government conceded a judicial review challenge on the grounds of the process being “tainted by apparent bias”.

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