Labour MSPs urge Walker to quit after police launch new inquiry

LABOUR MSPs representing Fife have issued a joint statement calling for Bill Walker to leave the Scottish Parliament.It came as police confirmed they were “making inquiries” over a range of allegations about the Dunfermline West MSP.

MSP. The politician has strongly denied an allegation of rape made against him in a Sunday newspaper.

Mr Walker was expelled from the SNP amid claims of domestic abuse. Last night, he “completely” denied the latest allegation and said that he would co-operate with Fife Police in any investigation.

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He said he would “almost certainly” appeal against his expulsion from the SNP following a suspension and a party disciplinary hearing into allegations concerning his three former wives and domestic violence.

He also rejected calls to resign as an MSP from what he said were the “usual suspects” among the opposition parties, as he dismissed the domestic violence allegations as “unproven”.

However, Mr Walker, who has said he would sit as an independent at Holyrood, was under increasing pressure as Fife’s Labour MSPs issued a statement about the latest “highly disturbing” allegations against him.

A Fife Police spokesman said: “The force is aware of recent press reports concerning Mr Bill Walker and is making inquiries into the issues involved.”

But Mr Walker, who said the allegation dated back to the 1980s, said he would speak to his legal team about the investigation during the coming days.

He said: “I completely deny this. I’ve not been contacted by the police, but I’ll speak to my lawyer and do whatever is asked of me.”

Mr Walker, who was elected last May, said he had received support from other politicians and added that he wanted to clear his name.

“I’m almost certainly going to appeal. I’m 71 and I want to end my political career on a happy note. I get on well with my colleagues at MSP level and I’ve had some saying they support me.

“I’m definitely going to continue as an MSP. I don’t take calls from the usual suspects, who are political opponents, seriously.”

However, a statement from Fife Labour MSPs John Park, Richard Simpson, Claire Baker and Helen Eadie suggested Mr Walker was not fit to be an MSP.

The statement said: “These are highly disturbing allegations and, coming on top of what we now know about Mr Walker’s past, we have serious concerns about his fitness to be an MSP. He should resign from the Scottish Parliament today.”

Fife SNP councillor Douglas Chapman, who is a member of Mr Walker’s former constituency party, said he was “sure“ that the MSP’s position would be discussed at the next local branch meeting later this month.

He said: “We’ll have to look at it all and see, as we don’t know whether he’s planning to appeal or not.”

The SNP yesterday refused to comment until the end of the disciplinary process, which allows Mr Walker 21 days to appeal against his expulsion.