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Time to shine a light

Alex Salmond’s spokesman made the following statement this afternoon. We present it to readers unprocessed, except for the additional emphasis on two sentences.

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STATEMENT BY ALEX SALMOND AT THE END OF THE INQUIRIES

This is my third and final public statement on the parliamentary and Hamilton inquiries and the Dunlop investigation.

The investigations have ended and, despite their obvious limitations, the results are there and must be accepted, as have the judgments of the juries and the judgments of the courts.

A year ago I said in the High Court that there was evidence that I would like to see. Some of this key material, including government legal advice, was eventually published by the Parliamentary Committee. Not much of it.

A month ago I publicly proved the parliamentary inquiry myself. I challenged some in leadership positions to reflect on their position. It is in the public interest that such measures be taken to prevent a harmful erosion of trust in government institutions. As the recording shows, I did not call for the First Minister to resign.

I have been waiting for these people to reply to the publication of the reports. Unfortunately, there seems to be a clear intention to continue anyway.

So I intend to take two specific actions that will emerge directly from the results of these reports.

Firstly, the Parliamentary Committee has made it clear that the catastrophic errors in this matter are not only systemic but can properly be put on the door of the individual, and especially the Permanent Secretary.

I had previously been forced to take the Permanent Secretary to the trial court for the illegality of her actions, and I succeeded. Although the Permanent Secretary was held responsible for this unlawful and unfair process and caused the taxpayer a huge and avoidable cost of over £ 600,000 in legal costs, she did not offer to resign on January 8, 2019.

Now, more than two years later, and despite the worst committee conviction in the history of the modern Scottish Parliament, the Permanent Secretary still refuses to take any real responsibility.

Instead, the waste of public resources has increased, as has the impact on all concerned.

Can’t stand that. I have therefore sought legal advice and will shortly be instructing my lawyers to bring an action before the court hearing, which results directly from the behavior of the Permanent Secretary. I hope it’s the only legal action I have to take.

I have full confidence in the outcome of these legal proceedings, as they have all the proper powers to recover documents and therefore the ability to properly question the responsible persons, the absence of which has so constrained the parliamentary committee.

Second, James Hamilton’s report makes it clear that the issue of the leakage of the history of the original complaints in August 2018 was not part of his jurisdiction but should be referred to the police.

The Parliamentary Committee’s report fully condemned the same leak, noting that everyone involved was extremely harmed. I agree.

Accordingly, I will now file this complaint with the police and allow them to find out who within the Scottish Government was responsible for providing these details to the Daily Record. I am confident that Police Scotland will vigorously pursue this matter.

I intend not to make any further public comments on these issues and will be leaving the police force and the courts to do their job.

Instead, I intend to move on, just as Scotland should now be debating in front of us all key electoral issues, most notably economic recovery from the pandemic and the future independence of our country.

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