Sturgeon quizzed after conclusion of Alex Salmond inquest
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In a statement issued this afternoon, Mr Salmond said: “This is my third and final public statement on the subject of the parliamentary and Hamilton investigations and the Dunlop Review. “The Inquiries are over and despite their manifest limitations, the findings are in and must be accepted, just like the verdicts of juries and the judgements of courts.”
The Committee on the Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints concluded the Scottish Government’s handling of harassment complaints, and the subsequent judicial review was “seriously flawed”.
On the judicial review, the Committee said the Scottish Government was “responsible from an early stage for a serious, substantial and entirely avoidable situation that resulted in a prolonged, expensive and unsuccessful defence of the legal challenge.”
Legal advice released by the Scottish Government earlier this month revealed the Scottish Government’s own Counsel warned Mr Salmond’s case was “more likely to fail than succeed” on October 31, 2018 and “the least worst option” would be to concede on December 6, 2018.
But the Scottish Government insisted on fighting the case and did not concede to Mr Salmond until January 8, 2019.
On the Scottish Government’s handling of complaints, the Committee concluded the multiple roles being fulfilled by the Permanent Secretary during the complaints process should have been “seen as a risk.”
The concluded said they expected the Scottish Government to undertake a thorough review and implement demonstrable measures.
The Committee urged the Scottish Government to introduce an independent support service and an independent system for reporting and investigating complaints on the development of the Government complaints procedure.
The Committee also warned more time should have been taken over the drafting of the procedure which would have allowed time to develop supporting guidance providing more support and information for those involved in the process including complainers.
Responding to the findings, Mr Salmond today said it is in the public interest that “action be taken to prevent a damaging erosion of trust in the institutions of government.”
Mr Salmond also said he was preparing for a further legal challenge due to the “conduct” of the Scottish Government’s permanent secretary Leslie Evans.
He continued: “This is my third and final public statement on the subject of the parliamentary and Hamilton investigations and the Dunlop Review.
“The inquiries are over and despite their manifest limitations, the findings are in and must be accepted, just like the verdicts of juries and the judgments of courts.
“A year ago, outside the High Court, I said that there was evidence which I wished to see the light of day.
“Some of that key material, including the Government legal advice, eventually emerged through the Parliamentary Committee. Much of it did not.”
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