Alex Salmond inquiry: Nicola Sturgeon says Alex Salmond ‘failed to take his chance’ to prove conspiracy

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said Alex Salmond failed to take his chance to provide proof of the conspiracy which has been alleged.

The former First Minister made his long-awaited appearance at a Scottish Parliament inquiry on Friday, where he gave an account to the committee of meetings he had with Ms Sturgeon that appeared to contradict her version of events.

Giving evidence to the Holyrood inquiry into the Scottish Government’s botched investigation of sexual harassment claims against him, Mr Salmond also said Scotland’s “leadership has failed” and called for the Lord Advocate and the head of Scotland’s civil service, Permanent Secretary Leslie Evans, to resign over the handling of the complaints against him.

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Although Mr Salmond admitted he had no proof Ms Sturgeon was involved in what he believes was a “malicious and concerted attempt” to remove him from public life, he said he had “no doubt” that she had broken the ministerial code.

The inquiry is examining the government’s handling of complaints about Mr Salmond after he successfully challenged the government’s harassment policy and its application in the Court of Session, which ruled the investigation was procedurally unfair and “tainted by apparent bias”.

Ms Sturgeon has previously insisted there is “not a shred of evidence” there was a conspiracy against Mr Salmond and has denied lying to Parliament.

She is scheduled to appear before the committee on Wednesday, and her spokesman said she “looks forward” to addressing issues Mr Salmond raised.

On Friday evening, a spokesman for the First Minister said: “The people of Scotland have shown, in poll after poll and election after election, that they back the leadership of the SNP and of Nicola Sturgeon.

Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon.

“Today was Alex Salmond’s chance to provide proof of the conspiracy which has been alleged – and he did not do so.

“Instead, under oath, he explicitly conceded there was no such evidence against the First Minister, and also gave testimony which directly undermined some of the central planks of the conspiracy theories.

“The First Minister now looks forward to addressing all of the issues Mr Salmond raised – and much more besides – when she finally gets the opportunity to address the committee next week.”

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