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, 17:54

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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.”

Report into whether FM breached ministerial code expected soon

The independent inquiry into whether Nicola Sturgeon breached the ministerial code is expected to be released today, according to reports.

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

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Scottish Government to release report today

A Scottish Government spokesperson told The Scotsman: ‘The Scottish Government received the Independent Adviser’s report this morning and it will be published later today, once legally required checks and notifications are completed.’

It is understood that James Hamilton has submitted a note along with his report in which he states that he understands that it will be necessary for the Scottish Government to make redactions before publication, to comply with court orders and avoid jigsaw identification.

The Scottish Government will publish Mr Hamilton’s note at the same time as the report.

Deputy Political Editor at The Scotsman tweets:

Nicola Sturgeon is expected to face a vote of no confidence on Tuesday amid accusations she misled parliament about her involvement in the Alex Salmond investigation, the Scottish Parliament has confirmed.

A debate on the motion of no confidence is now scheduled for Tuesday, rather than Wednesday as had been expected, although it is subject to final approval by the parliament’s business bureau on Tuesday morning.

The motion has been tabled by the Scottish Conservatives after the party’s leader at Holyrood, Ruth Davidson, claimed there was “no question” the First Minister had lied to parliament.

The Tories had threatened the motion of no confidence prior to Ms Sturgeon’s appearance before the Committee on the Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints, set up after a successful judicial review by Mr Salmond resulted in the Scottish Government’s investigation being ruled unlawful and “tainted by apparent bias” in 2019.

But following a leak that the inquiry has reportedly concluded that Ms Sturgeon gave an “inaccurate” account of meetings with Mr Salmond, the party repeated their calls for her resignation.

Another inquiry, carried out by the independent adviser to the Government on the ministerial code, James Hamilton, has concluded and will be published on Monday.

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