• STV
  • MySTV

Nicola Sturgeon refers herself to ministerial watchdog

The First Minister will make a referral over her meetings with Alex Salmond.

Salmond row: Sturgeon will make a referral to the panel of independent advisers on the Ministerial Code.
Salmond row: Sturgeon will make a referral to the panel of independent advisers on the Ministerial Code.

Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that she will refer herself to the panel of independent advisers on the Ministerial Code over her meetings with Alex Salmond.

The First Minister said that she met Salmond on three occasions and had spoken to him on the phone twice after sexual harassment allegations had been made by two women against him to the Scottish Government in January 2018.

On Tuesday, the Scottish Government's handling of the allegations against former first minister Salmond was ruled unlawful by Scotland's highest civil court.

Sturgeon said: "It is in the interests of the women who have complained that the ongoing police investigations are allowed to continue without any risk of prejudice. That must be the priority for everyone.

'I have acted appropriately and in good faith throughout, and in compliance with the Ministerial Code at all times. However, I have reflected carefully and understand that it is also important for Parliament and the wider public to be assured of that.'
Nicola Sturgeon

"Questions have been raised about my meetings and telephone calls with Alex Salmond during the Government's investigation into the complaints which were made.

"I have acted appropriately and in good faith throughout, and in compliance with the Ministerial Code at all times. However, I have reflected carefully and understand that it is also important for Parliament and the wider public to be assured of that.

"I have therefore decided to refer the matter for consideration by one or both of the Independent Advisers on the Ministerial Code."

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1434535-leonard-sturgeon-must-self-refer-over-salmond-talks/ | default

Opposition parties had been calling for Ms Sturgeon to make the referral to the watchdog, with Scottish Conservative deputy leader Jackson Carlaw describing the situation as "a shambles" during First Minister's Questions on Tuesday.

Sturgeon stated that the complaints made against Salmond cannot be ignored.

The First Minister said: "The Independent Advisers will now be consulted on their precise remit, and advice will also be sought on how to ensure that there is no risk of prejudice to the ongoing police investigation. The remit will be published in due course.

"The fact remains that at the centre of this issue are two women whose complaints could not be swept under the carpet.

"Any continuing commentary about these issues at this stage - whether from myself, the Government or Mr Salmond and his representatives - would only serve to distract from, and potentially compromise, the proper consideration by the police of the subject matter of their investigations. That is something we will not do."

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard MSP indicated that Nicola Sturgeon had "done the right thing" in referring herself under the Ministerial Code and called for a full inquiry. 

He said: "Transparency is now absolutely essential in order for the public to have confidence in the First Minister and the Scottish Government. 

"That is why we should also see a full, public parliamentary inquiry in to what exactly has happened - and I look forward to working constructively with members from other parties this week in order to secure that. 

"It is also now essential that the Scottish Parliament is given the power to fully review the outcome of this investigation into whether Nicola Sturgeon has broken the Ministerial Code. 

"Throughout this process it is essential to remember that at the centre of all of this are two courageous women who put their faith in a system that has badly let them down, and we must never lose sight of that, by safeguarding the duty of care to them and their access to justice. 

"We must restore trust and confidence in the system."

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.