Alex Salmond’s lawyer accuses SNP Authorities of making an attempt to ‘tarnish’ his shopper’s popularity

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Alex Salmond's lawyer accuses SNP Government of trying to 'tarnish' his client's reputation

Alex Salmond’s lawyer has accused the Scottish Government of “outrageous” behaviour as part of the Holyrood Inquiry.

David McKie said the Government was trying to “distract” the Committee by attempting to release documents on the substance of complaints that were made against Salmond.

A Holyrood committee is investigating how in 2018 the SNP Government handled complaints of sexual misconduct against Salmond when he was First Minister.

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Salmond successfully challenged the Government in court and it was agreed the internal probe had been unlawful and tainted by apparent bias.

The bungled investigation, which destroyed the long-standing friendship between Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon, cost the public purse over £500,000.

Although the Holyrood committee has heard evidence directly from key individuals, rows over the non-disclosure of documents are still rumbling on.

The Government has been criticised for refusing to hand over the legal advice it obtained during the judicial review.

Salmond’s lawyer has also accused the Government of intending to hand over “irrelevant” documents that are concerned with the substance of the allegations.

In a letter to Committee convener Linda Fabiani, McKie said it appeared the Government intended to provide the “decision report” produced by the following their internal probe, as well as a letter explaining the outcome of the investigation.

McKie blasted this position as “frankly outrageous,” adding: “The Decision Report is entirely concerned with the substance of the complaints. So, self evidently, is the decision letter of 22nd August 2018. 

“Despite that, the Scottish Government seems determined to spend even more public money in a continued effort to publicise those documents and to revisit the substance of the complaints.”

He continued: “The final justification is the Scottish Government now claims that it wishes ‘all of the relevant information’ to be provided. But this information is not only irrelevant, it is derived from unlawful documents, reduced by the Court of Session and outwith the scope of the Committee’s remit. On what possible basis can it be suggested that access to those documents is justified or the information relevant?”

He added: “The clear objective of the Scottish Government is to tarnish the reputation of our client and to seek to distract the Committee from the core remit of investigating the Scottish Government and First Minister.”

McKie also wrote that he sought  “urgent confirmation” from the Committee that it does not want access to any of the reduced documents.