SNP Alex Salmond inquiry members accuse opposition MSPs of 'railroading through prejudged assertions'

SNP members of the Alex Salmond inquiry have launched a scathing attack on their opposition counterparts as fury over the leaking of the committee’s conclusions continues to bubble over.

In a joint statement, Alasdair Allan, Maureen Watt and Stuart McMillan criticised their inquiry colleagues for having “railroaded through their prejudged assertions” for political gain.

The latest intervention follows a day of counter-attack from the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon after it was leaked the committee had concluded the First Minister had misled the inquiry.

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The central allegation is that Ms Sturgeon misled the committee on whether she had promised Mr Salmond she would intervene in the complaints process – something she has denied repeatedly.

SNP MSPs on the Salmond Inquiry have hit out at leaks from the committee
SNP MSPs on the Salmond Inquiry have hit out at leaks from the committee

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The committee is understood to have said this constitutes a “potential” breach of the ministerial code.

Any minister found to have “knowingly misled” Parliament is expected to offer their resignation.

Reacting, SNP members of the committee blasted their inquiry colleagues and accused them of “selectively referencing only the evidence which supported their preconceived narrative”.

The three MSPs said: “This committee was meant to carry out a dispassionate search for the truth.

"But, at the very last minute, without full consideration of the evidence, the opposition railroaded through their prejudged assertions based purely on political considerations.

"On the question of the First Minister offering to intervene, there are two sides of the story and we have evidence from both sides, but opposition MSPs chose not to reflect that by selectively referencing only the evidence which supported their preconceived narrative.

"We have also heard clear, consistent evidence that the First Minister had no knowledge of concerns of inappropriate sexual behaviour by Alex Salmond before November 2017.

"Yet, without a shred of evidence to the contrary, the opposition simply used their majority on the committee to insert 11th-hour predetermined political assertions that have no basis in fact. That is simply disgraceful and wrong.

"For the opposition, this was never about the truth. It was never about the evidence and, shamefully, it was never even about the women. All of these are being sacrificed in pursuit of political ends.

"This is the politics of desperation by the opposition members."

The three MSPs added they will not comment further until the full report is made public.

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