James Hamilton inquiry RECAP: First Minister found not to have broken the ministerial code

The independent investigation into the ministerial code, being conducted by James Hamilton QC, is expected to report this afternoon.

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The independent investigation into the ministerial code, being conducted by James Hamilton, is expected to report this afternoon.

James Hamilton inquiry LIVE: Scotland awaits verdict on Sturgeon’s conduct

Last updated: Monday, 22 March, 2021, 14:27

James Hamilton inquiry expected this afternoon

First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, leaves her home in Glasgow.

The independent investigation into the ministerial code, being conducted by James Hamilton, is expected to report this afternoon and could prove dangerous for the First Minister if she was found to have knowingly breached the code.

Nicola Sturgeon referred herself for investigation after she was accused of misleading parliament over when she knew about allegations against Mr Salmond.

Tories mount vote of no confidence bid

The Scottish Tories have given Ms Sturgeon until Tuesday to resign, or she will face a vote of no confidence on Wednesday, due to what the party says is “overwhelming” proof she broke the ministerial code.

While likely to survive the vote, Ms Sturgeon may find it more difficult if James Hamilton’s report is unfavourable.

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Poll: Half of Scots think FM should resign if she broke ministerial code

Half of Scots think Sturgeon should resign if she broke ministerial code

Almost half of Scots think Nicola Sturgeon should resign if she is found to have misled the Scottish Parliament and broken the ministerial code, a new poll has revealed.

BBC says Scottish Government have Hamilton’s report

Women in Salmond case to make formal complaint over evidence leak

The women at the centre of the Alex Salmond inquiry have said they will be making a formal complaint to the Scottish Parliament after their evidence was leaked to a newspaper.

In a statement released through Rape Crisis Scotland on Sunday, the two women who made complaints of harassment against former first minister Alex Salmond said they would be making a formal complaint over the leak.

A story in The Sunday Times claims the women, giving evidence in private last Monday, painted a picture of a demeaning environment for women, with one saying it was “like the Wild West”.

The statement said the leak was a breach of the MSP code of conduct, as well as “a violation of the trust we placed in the committee”, as well as raising concerns about the accuracy of the leak.

Read the full story:

Complainers in Alex Salmond case to make formal complaint to Scottish Parliament over evidence leak

The women at the centre of the Alex Salmond inquiry have said they will be making a formal complaint to the Scottish Parliament after their evidence was leaked to a newspaper.

What is the James Hamilton report?

The independent inquiry into whether Nicola Sturgeon breached the ministerial code is expected to be released momentarily.

An investigation by Irish barrister James Hamilton has been examining whether Scotland’s First Minister misled parliament.

He is also examining if she should have recorded meetings with Alex Salmond and whether she prolonged the Government’s defence of a judicial review brought by her predecessor contrary to the legal advice.

It is believed the Scottish Government will receive the report from Mr Hamilton on Monday, although this is yet to be confirmed by the Government itself.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is sworn in before giving evidence to The Committee on the Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints at Holyrood.

Ms Sturgeon, who denies breaching the ministerial code, has previously promised the report would be published on the day the Government received it.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman was unable to say if or when the report would be released.

Mr Hamilton, the former director of public prosecutions in the Republic of Ireland, is the independent advisor to the Scottish Government on the ministerial code – a set of rules about how ministers should conduct themselves.

The current First Minister referred herself to him following Mr Salmond’s successful legal challenge of the Scottish Government’s unlawful investigation into harassment complaints against him, which led to him winning more than £500,000 in court.

Sturgeon spoke to reporters this morning

Nicola Sturgeon, leaves her home in Glasgow.

I’m going to do what I’ve done every day for the last year – lead the country through a pandemic.

Nicola Sturgeon

IndyRef2 draft bill published by Scottish Government

Scots will be asked the same question as in 2014 in any re-run of the Scottish independence referendum, a new draft bill by the Scottish Government has set out.

The publication is on the same day as the report by James Hamilton which investigated whether or not the First Minister breached the ministerial code around the Salmond affair.

Read the full story:

IndyRef2 draft bill published by Scottish Government ahead of election

Scots will be asked the same question as in 2014 in any re-run of the Scottish independence referendum, a new draft bill by the Scottish Government has set out.

Ross repeats calls for Sturgeon to resign

Douglas Ross MP

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross has repeated calls for Nicola Sturgeon to resign, urging her to “go now, before you do any more damage”.

He tweeted: “Nicola Sturgeon promised to ‘respect the decisions’ of both inquiries that report this week. But the evidence against her is already overwhelming.

“Only Alex Salmond acted worse as first minister. So I say directly to @NicolaSturgeon – go now, before you do any more damage.”

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Labour leader Keir Starmer gives media interviews outside an Edinburgh vaccine center.

On Sunday, in an exclusive interview with The Scotsman, Sir Keir Starmer warned Nicola Sturgeon cannot call for “integrity and trust” from the public if she is found to have breached it by breaking the ministerial code.

The Labour leader explained trust was important for both the Scottish Parliament and the role of First Minister, regardless of who holds the role.

Sir Keir’s warning came as Ms Sturgeon prepares for the results of the James Hamilton QC inquiry into her own conduct and with the First Minister facing a vote of no confidence on Wednesday.

Read the full story:

Sir Keir Starmer warns Nicola Sturgeon she cannot call for 'integrity and trust' if she's breached code

Sir Keir Starmer has warned Nicola Sturgeon cannot call for “integrity and trust” from the public if she is found to have breached it by breaking the ministerial code.

Who is James Hamilton?

The report from James Hamilton into First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s conduct throughout the Alex Salmond sexual harassment investigation has been a long time coming.

But who is James Hamilton? Why is his report so important? And why was he chosen to gather all the relevant information?

Read the full story:

Who is James Hamilton? And why is his report so important to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's future?

The report from James Hamilton into First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s conduct throughout the Alex Salmond sexual harassment investigation has been a long time coming.

The Scotsman’s politics reporter tweets:

Willie Rennie: ‘Holy Moly...’

Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie.

Speaking in response to publication of the SNP’s detailed referendum legislation the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats Willie Rennie said: “Holy moly, they’ve had people working on the referendum instead of dealing with the pandemic.

“Dozens of civil servants could have been planning to get cancer services running full speed but they’ve been ordered to do this instead. Or they could have been working on getting funds to business, better mental health services or support for schools.

“We are still in a pandemic. Thousands have lost their lives, thousands more have lost their job.

“Reasonable people will think that this is the wrong moment to be pushing a referendum.

“We should put recovery first and bin this bill.”

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