According to the Times from the “unpublished evidence” it appears that Nicola Sturgeon and those around her (chief of staff) were aware of the harrassment complaints against Salmond weeks before she told parliament she became of them.
What Sturgeon and her team have done is criminal, let’s see who ends up taking the fall and who squirms around the scandal.
Full article below…
Unpublished evidence lodged with an inquiry into the Alex Salmond affair has raised fresh concerns that the SNP leader, Nicola Sturgeon, misled parliament, in breach of the ministerial code.
It indicates that her team was aware of harassment complaints against her former boss and closest friend several weeks before she told parliament she became aware of them.
The material from Salmond’s former chief of staff, Geoff Aberdein, also supports claims made by the former first minister that Sturgeon’s administration leaked the identity of one of the women complaining about him — claims that Sturgeon rejected last week.
Labour has said that such an identification would represent an “extraordinary breach of confidentiality” and a “fundamental breakdown of trust”.
The Sunday Times has been given details of Aberdein’s evidence to the Scottish parliamentary committee investigating the SNP government’s unlawful handling of complaints against Salmond, who testified on Friday.
The disclosures increase the pressure on Sturgeon, who is due to appear before the inquiry on Wednesday. Knowingly misleading parliament is a breach of the ministerial code that should lead to resignation.
Sturgeon claimed on a number of occasions — including in evidence to parliament in 2019 — that she learnt of women’s complaints from Salmond himself, at a meeting in her Glasgow home on April 2, 2018.
Then, in an inquiry submission released last October, Sturgeon accepted she had met Aberdein about the matter in her office four days earlier, on March 29, 2018. She said she had “forgotten” about it, describing it as a “fleeting, opportunistic meeting”.
Aberdein’s evidence, which heaps pressure on Sturgeon, has been shared with members of the Holyrood inquiry committee but not published on legal grounds. It indicates Sturgeon’s team was aware of allegations at least as far back as early March, and that the identity of a complainant was passed to Aberdein, who then conveyed it to Salmond.
During his appearance at the inquiry on Friday, Salmond was asked whether he knew whether the name of a complainant was shared during a meeting with Aberdein, as a precursor to the meeting between Salmond and Sturgeon.
Salmond replied: “Yes,” saying he was told that by his former chief of staff, and that others knew it to be true. The committee is writing to Aberdein and others he spoke to at the time.
On Thursday, when pressed in parliament on whether the name of one of the women involved had been passed on, Sturgeon said: “To the very best of my knowledge, I do not think that happened.”
Labour MSP Jackie Baillie, a member of the inquiry committee, said: “In any other employment situation, if a complainant’s name was leaked, it would be a matter of gross misconduct. This would be a most extraordinary breach of confidentiality.”
The Scottish government was approached for comment. Aberdein did not comment.
SNP sources predict Leslie Evans, the head of Scotland’s civil service, will be ousted over her role in the affair. The SNP chief executive, Peter Murrell, who is also Sturgeon’s husband, and her chief of staff, Liz Lloyd, are also tipped to move.