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22 Mar, 2021

Hamilton clears Sturgeon of breaking the ministerial code

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The independent enquiry led by Hamilton into whether Sturgeon deliberately misled the Scottish Parliament over what she knew or didn’t know about the Alex Salmond saga, clears her of any wrongdoing in a report. He acknowledges that while her recollection of some events was incorrect, this was due to a genuine error rather than because of any attempt to deceive.

I am of the opinion that the first minister did not breach the provisions of the ministerial code in respect of any of these matters.

On that basis he concludesd that she had not broken the ministerial code. Hamilton also looked at her failure to record specifics of meetings and conversations with Alex Salmond and while he disagreed with her that they were not Government business he acknowledged that keeping a record of those events might have prejudiced the proceedings.

Regarding the accusation that Sturgeon had attempted to influence the investigation itself over whether Salmond harassed staff, it was found that she had not done so. Salmond had also raised that complaint that Sturgeon had broken the law by failing to listen to the advice of her legal advisers that there was not a sufficiently strong case against him to justify proceeding. Hamilton concludesed that failing to follow the advice of your advisers does not mean that you have broken the law itself.