Daily uk news Scottish government GAGS Alex Salmond's bombshell evidence that 'risks identifying accusers' - as he threatens to CANCEL his blockbuster testimony tomorrow after accusing Sturgeon of plot to throw him in jail  MetiNews.Com

MetiNews.Com - The former first minister's (pictured) statement did not contain a knockout blow against Miss Sturgeon, who he accuses of being complicit in a 'malicious' effort to destroy him.

Daily uk news Scottish government GAGS Alex Salmond's bombshell evidence that 'risks identifying accusers' - as he threatens to CANCEL his blockbuster testimony tomorrow after accusing Sturgeon of plot to throw him in jail  MetiNews.Com

MetiNews.Com - The former first minister's (pictured) statement did not contain a knockout blow against Miss Sturgeon, who he accuses of being complicit in a 'malicious' effort to destroy him.

Daily uk news  Scottish government GAGS Alex Salmond's bombshell evidence that 'risks identifying accusers' - as he threatens to CANCEL his blockbuster testimony tomorrow after accusing Sturgeon of plot to throw him in jail  MetiNews.Com
23 February 2021 - 15:30

Breaking News ! The Scottish Parliament has agreed to censor portions of Alex Salmond's bombshell evidence accusing Nicola Sturgeon and her apparatchiks of a plot to throw him in jail for sexual assault.Holyrood officials said they would remove parts of Salmond's testimony after prosecutors said it risked contempt of court by enabling jigsaw identification of his accusers. Salmond's legal team questioned the motives of the move to censor the testimony, which has been published on The Spectator website for two weeks, and said he could cancel what was due to be a blockbuster committee appearance tomorrow.Mr Salmond's allies allege sexual assault allegations against him  - of which he was cleared - were part of a plot designed to prevent his political comeback and cooked up by Ms Sturgeon's allies in a climate of #MeToo allegations across the world.But in the internal power struggle that threatens to tear the SNP apart just ten weeks before a Scottish election that could pave the way to a second independence referendum, Miss Sturgeon insists the former first minister has 'not a shred of evidence' against her. The former first minister has already accused the Crown Office - the Scottish equivalent of the CPS - of withholding evidence that shows Sturgeon's aides and top civil servants engaged in a 'malicious' conspiracy against him. Now his lawyer says the decision to censor his evidence is of 'significant surprise and concern' and said the Crown Office's intervention 'only serves to reinforce' Mr Salmond's his fears about prosecutors.Publisher of the Spectator Andrew Neil said: 'The important point to grasp here is that if the Crown Office succeeds in un-publishing Salmond's submission then the Inquiry cannot consider it when it comes to finalising its conclusions. Devious.' Two pieces of Salmond's evidence were published on the Scottish government website yesterday. One, previously published by The Spectator, accuses Nicola Sturgeon of lying to Parliament by about when she first learned of an investigation into accusations of sexual assault. That will now be redacted.  The second previously unreleased statement named Sturgeon's husband and four other aides and civil servants and accused them of being complicit in a 'malicious' effort to bring sexual harassment and attempted rape charges against him of which he was cleared.   The most serious risk to Miss Sturgeon in the unfolding drama is Mr Salmond's claim in a separate statement she lied to the Scottish Parliament about when she knew about the investigation against him. If proven, she could be forced to resign.In that statement Mr Salmond says his chief of staff met her on March 29, 2018, to discuss the probe - she later told the Scottish Parliament that she first learned of the probe on April 2.Mr Salmond says this is a breach of the Ministerial Code, but the Scottish parliament said it will remove part of his statement because it risks identifying his accusers - despite being published on the Spectator website.Also among his evidence is an email sent by Sturgeon's chief of staff Liz Lloyd to Scotland's top civil servant Leslie Evans saying Scottish government sexual harassment policy should be expanded to include former ministers.The email, sent on November 17 2017, came 11 days after the first claims of sexual assault against Mr Salmond.He says the 'radical expansion' of the policy 'must have been inserted to allow the complaint against me to be prosecuted'.  The former first minister's statement did not contain a knockout blow against Miss Sturgeon, who he accuses of being complicit in a 'malicious' effort to bring sexual harassment and attempted rape charges against him of which he was cleared He accuses Scottish prosecutors of withholding evidence proving Miss Sturgeon's aides conspired with civil servants to press ahead with taking the allegations against Mr Salmond to court despite legal advice he would be cleared SNP Chief Executive, Peter Murrell arrives to give evidence to a Scottish Parliament committee at Holyrood in December Allegations, discussions, denials and a 'forgotten' key meeting between Sturgeon and Salmond November 2017: Allegations regarding Alex Salmond's behaviour are raised with the SNP by Sky News.Nicola Sturgeon said she spoke to him about this – and he 'denied it'. No further action was taken.March 29, 2018: Ms Sturgeon meets Geoff Aberdein in her Scottish parliament office where she has admitted they discussed the possibility of a meeting with Mr Salmond. Ms Sturgeon – after initially forgetting about this meeting – says there was 'the suggestion that the matter might relate to allegations of a sexual nature'.April 2, 2018: Ms Sturgeon and Mr Salmond meet at the First Minister's home. According to Ms Sturgeon, this is the first time she heard of the complaints made against him. Despite this, she has insisted that the matters discussed were party business.April 23, 2018: Ms Sturgeon and Mr Salmond hold a 'substantive' phone discussion. During this call, Ms Sturgeon claims that Mr Salmond asked whether she would speak to Leslie Evans about 'mediation' with the complainants. A special adviser was in the room at the time.June 6, 2018: Ms Sturgeon writes to Mrs Evans to inform her that she has held discussions with Mr Salmond.June 7, 2018: Ms Sturgeon again meets Mr Salmond, this time in Aberdeen ahead of the SNP party conference.July 14, 2018: Ms Sturgeon meets Mr Salmond at her home near Glasgow.July 18, 2018: Ms Sturgeon and Mr Salmond speak again on the phone. Ms Sturgeon said that 'by this time' she was 'anxious – as party leader and from the perspective of preparing my party for any potential public issue – to know whether his handling of the matter meant it was likely to become public in the near future.'This is the last time Ms Sturgeon and Mr Salmond speak. During this time they also exchange a number of WhatsApp messages in which they discuss the affair – including Mr Salmond's decision to seek a judicial review over the government's probe into the two complaints. January 2019: Mr Salmond wins sexual harassment inquiry case against Scottish government and is awarded £500,000 in legal fees.  March 23, 2020: Alex Salmond is cleared of all sexual assault charges and his supporters demanded a full inquiry into the Scottish Government's handling of the scandal.January 24, 2021: Speaking on the Andrew Marr show, Ms Sturgeon denies misleading the Scottish Parliament after 'forgetting' to tell MSPs about her meeting with Mr Salmond's aide on March 29, 2018.February 8, 2021: Peter Murrell, the SNP's chief executive and the First Leader's husband, is accused of a 'dismal and shifty' performance as he gave evidence to the inquiry on Zoom.February 16, 2021: Mooted date for Ms Sturgeon to appear before the inquiry. adverts.addToArray({"pos":"mpu_factbox"})Advertisement Mr Salmond's other explosive statement names five of Miss Sturgeon's top aides and civil servants accusing them of colluding against him in a 'malicious' plot to have him charged with 13 counts of sexual assault.He called for some of them to resign and claims their conduct could amount to a 'conspiracy' at the highest levels in Scottish government.He claimed in the submission the 'inescapable conclusion' was that there was a 'malicious and concerted' attempt to see him removed from public life in Scotland. Miss Sturgeon's husband and SNP chief executive Peter Murrell, Principal policy adviser Leslie Evans, chief of staff Liz Lloyd, compliance officer Ian McCann and chief operating officer Sue Ruddick were all complicit in efforts to damage his reputation, Mr Salmond says.In his latest statement, Mr Salmond alleges that while probing sexual assault claims against him, SNP officials were also drafting the Fairness at Work Policy 2010. He claims Ms Lloyd drafted an amendment in November 2017 to tweak a policy to include 'former Ministers, including from previous administrations regardless of Party'.He makes the link between this email and the claims made against him by the female complainants - meaning he could be prosecuted.He says there was also a political intervention when Miss Sturgeon and the Permanent Secretary agreed before December 2017 that she should be distanced from the policy and only told when it was done.Mr Salmond claims: 'When the Permanent Secretary agreed with the First Minister that she should take over as key decision maker in terms of this new policy she was already aware of the developing complaints against me.'Therefore she put herself at the centre of a policy in the full knowledge that I would likely be the first (and perhaps only given the subsequent declaration of illegality) subject of its implementation. Doing so from a position of already being tainted by bias is an extraordinary decision.'He also says the Scottish government was advised by external counsel in October 2018 that the 'balance of probability' was that 'they were heading for likely defeat' in its case against him.He adds: 'And yet, despite that advice and the cost of hundreds of thousands of pounds of avoidable legal fees, the Scottish Government pressed on with a case they expected to lose.'He said: 'However, underlying all of this and perhaps the most serious issue of all is the complete breakdown of the necessary barriers which should exist between Government, political party and indeed the prosecution authorities in any country which abides by the rule of law.'Mr Salmond faced 13 charges including one of attempted rape, one of intent to rape, nine charges of sexual assault and two of indecent assault.The ex-SNP leader was cleared of all charges by a jury following an 11-day trial at the High Court in Edinburgh.The jury returned not guilty verdicts on 12 charges and returned a not proven verdict on a charge of sexual assault with intent to rape.The former first minister was charged with indecently assaulting Woman A, a senior government official, in 2008. 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Share this article Share Leslie Evans, Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government, is pictured as she gives evidence at Holyrood to a Scottish Parliament committee examining the handling of harassment allegations against former first minister Alex Salmond Liz Lloyd, Nicola Sturgeon's Chief of Staff, at an SNP event at which Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon set out the next steps in the SNP's campaign for Scottish independence, on January 31, 2020On occasions in June and July 2008 in Glasgow, he was accused of indecently assaulting her by kissing her on the mouth and touching her buttocks and breast over her clothing; and sexually assaulting her in either December 2010 or December 2011 in Ego nightclub in Edinburgh, by touching her arms and hips over her clothing.He was charged with indecently assaulting Woman B at Bute House, the Scottish First Minister's official residence, in October or November 2010.She had accused him of repeatedly seizing her by the wrists, pulling her towards him and trying to kiss her.Woman C accused him of assaulting her in a car in Edinburgh during February 2011 by touching her leg with his hand over her clothing, but said that was 'impossible' with others in the car who would have seen the incident take place.Prosecutors charged him with sexually assaulting Woman D on a number of occasions between 2011 and 2013 at various locations, including Bute House and the Scottish Parliament building.Between May 2011 and June 2013, he was alleged to have sexually assaulted her by touching her buttocks over her clothing and stroking her arms and hair. Woman F claimed he assaulted her at Bute House in December 2013 and sexually assaulting her in either November or December 2013.He was accused of making her sit on a bed, lying on top of her, struggling with her and pulling up her dress with intent to rape her.Woman G - a Scottish Government official said he twice assaulted her - once in Glasgow during 2012 and secondly in Bute House in April 2014. She accused him of smacking her buttocks at a Glasgow restaurant in March 2012. Salmond said: 'It didn't happen.' Meanwhile Woman H said in 2014 Salmond sexually assaulted her attempting to rape her the same year. In June of that year at Bute House, he had been alleged to have sexually assaulted Woman H by removing his clothing and underwear, pushing her onto a bed, kneeling over her, pinning her to the bed, lying naked on top of her and then trying to rape her.The former SNP chief was charged with sexually assaulting Woman J - a party worker - in Bute House in September 2014. Kirk Torrance, 38, then the SNP's new media strategist and now a technology consultant, told the court he'd seen Woman J at an SNP office the day after the alleged sexual assault.Asked if she 'seemed upset, Torrance told the court that Woman J seemed 'quite the opposite actually' and appeared to be in good spirits. Sue Ruddick (pictured) was also complicit in efforts to damage his reputation, Mr Salmond saysThe ninth alleged victim - Woman K - said he assaulted her at Stirling Castle in November 2014, by touching her buttock with his hand over her clothing, while they had a photo taken together at the event.Mr Salmond was cleared of all charges.In his submission to the inquiry, Mr Salmond said had it not been for the jury system, a campaign to remove him from public life might have 'succeeded'.In a different submission, Ms Lloyd ardently rejected being part of a conspiracy and said this was 'not substantiated by any evidence'.She also denied leaking details of a Scottish Government inquiry into the allegations to the Daily Record newspaper.According to Mr Salmond, the 'most obvious and compelling evidence of such conduct' is contained in materials the Crown Office 'refuses to release'.He said: 'That decision is disgraceful.'Mr Salmond has called for evidence he obtained ahead of his criminal trial – but was not used in court – to be released by prosecutors, but they have refused.He said such a move 'makes it impossible for the Committee to complete its task; and that the 'only beneficiaries of that decision to withhold evidence are those involved in conduct to damage (and indeed imprison) me'.Mr Salmond also accuses Mr Murrell of deploying 'his senior staff to recruit and persuade staff and ex-staff members to submit police complaints'.He said: 'This activity was being co-ordinated with special advisers and was occurring after the police investigation had started and after I ceased to be a member of the SNP.'Mr Murrell has previously denied there was a conspiracy against Mr Salmond.Mr Salmond has also used his final submission before appearing at Holyrood to demand resignations over the affair, hitting out at the 'real cost' to the Scottish people which he believes to be 'many millions' of pounds.He said: 'No one in this process has uttered the simple words necessary on occasions to renew and refresh democratic institutions – 'I resign'.'But last night Miss Sturgeon claimed there was 'not a shred of evidence' of a conspiracy.She told STV News: 'He has made claims, or he appears to be making claims or suggestions there was some kind of conspiracy against him or concerted campaign against him.'There is not a shred of evidence about that, so this is the opportunity for him to replace insinuation and assertion with evidence. I don't believe he can because I know what he is saying is not true.'If he can't provide that evidence he should stop making these claims about people because they're not fair.'She refutes Mr Salmond's claims that she did breach the ministerial code. She added: 'The Scottish Government, of course, made a mistake in this. But this week it's an opportunity for Alex Salmond – I hope he will come to the committee on Wednesday.An SNP spokesman said: 'This is just more assertion without a shred of credible evidence.'Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross told MailOnline: 'The SNP have used every trick in the book to subvert the Scottish Parliament and protect Nicola Sturgeon.'Preserving the anonymity of the female complainers is paramount.'However, Parliament must have the power to hold the SNP government to account for its actions which failed these women and cost taxpayers at least £1million.'There are serious questions about the dual role of the Lord Advocate as a Scottish Government minister and head of what is supposed to be an independent and impartial prosecution service.'The people of Scotland deserve so much better than the SNP sleaze of Sturgeon and Salmond.'Andrew Neil, chairman of the Spectator which went to the High Court in Edinburgh to have Mr Salmond's evidence published, tweeted: 'Using lame and bogus jigsaw identification excuses, it's almost as if the Crown Office was acting on behalf of Scot Gov to stop important/embarrassing information from reaching the public domain, where it belongs.'He added: 'The important point to grasp here is that if the Crown Office succeeds in un-publishing Salmond's submission then the Inquiry cannot consider it when it comes to finalising its conclusions. Devious.'Yesterday, Rape Crisis Scotland demanded the Scottish parliament should convene an 'emergency' meeting to rethink the decision to publish Mr Salmond's submission.Chief executive Sandy Brindley warned it was 'inexplicable' Holyrood chiefs would 'knowingly publish' material which could risk identifying someone who had complained about Mr Salmond.Last night a spokesman for Mr Salmond said: 'We have now reached agreement with the parliamentary clerks on the publication of Mr Salmond's evidence.'This clears the way for Mr Salmond to attend an oral hearing on Wednesday.'Ms Sturgeon is expected to give evidence at the inquiry next week. Nicola Sturgeon's aides who Alex Salmond accuses of being complicit in efforts to damage his reputation Nicola Sturgeon's husband and SNP Chief Executive Peter MurrellPeter Murrell has been chief executive of the SNP since 1999.The 56-year-old was educated at Craigmount High School and Glasgow University before moving into politics.He later worked in the Banff and Buchan constituency office of former First Minister Alex Salmond, who he now faces accusations from.He met Ms Sturgeon in 1988 at the constituency office and they became a couple in 2003.The pair got married in July 2010 at Òran Mór Glasgow.Chief of Staff Liz LloydNicola Sturgeon's Chief of Staff Liz Lloyd is no stranger to controversy.Only last month the special adviser was blasted for tweeting criticism of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.As a civil service she is supposed to remain apolitical.The rules say she 'must not take public part in political controversy', including on 'social media'.Now she is also wrapped up in accusations she was part of a 'witch hunt' to destroy Alex Salmond.Ms Lloyd has been at the top of Scottish politics for nearly a decade - being a Spad for nine years and chief of staff for six years.Before that she was head of the SNP's media operations for four years and an adviser to MSP Jim Mathers for three years earlier.Edinburgh University educated Lloyd studied an MA in American studies and an MSc in European and comparative public policy before entering politics.Her LinkedIn calls for: 'a strong, successful and independent Scotland.'Permanent Secretary Leslie EvansThe head of Scotland's civil service could be sacked from the role as MSPs prepare to 'throw her under the bus'.Permanent Secretary Leslie Evans is expected to be slammed in a report on Holyrood's handling of the Alex Salmond affair.There are reportedly plans underway to get Ms Evans out of office earlier than her scheduled leave next spring.A source told The Sunday Times MSPs on the special committee are 'preparing to throw her under a bus'.Ms Evans is a 62-year-old civil servant from Northern Ireland who moved to Sheffield as a child before studying music at Liverpool University.She started living in Scotland in 1985 and joined the government in 2000 after 20 years working in local authorities.She was the first woman to land the top civil service job - from May 2015 - and earns around £175,000 a year.Chief Operating Officer Sue Ruddick The mother of three is the chief operating officer for the Scottish National Party.She worked in London as chief of staff for the SNP Westminster Group before heading up to Scotland.Ms Ruddick had before that been a parliamentary press and research assistant after being a part time swimming teacher.The Aberdeen University educated politico has a master's degree in history and also took courses in German, Spanish, sociology, psychology and international relations.Her LinkedIn profile says: 'A pro-active and talented Communications Professional with extensive experience in corporate image development and business administration.'Proven track record of successful design, implementation and management of innovative communication strategies leading to significant increases in efficiency and gains for the company.'Compliance Officer Ian McCannIan McCann is the point of contact at SNP Headquarters in Edinburgh, according to the party's website.His Twitter bio says: 'Two kids, two chins, eclectic taste in film and music. I mostly avoid discussion of politics, but if I do, I reserve the right to joke.'He often retweets First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and is followed by SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford.    adverts.addToArray({"pos":"mpu_factbox"})Advertisement   Alex Salmond's submission to the Harassment Complaints Committee last night1Submission Alex SalmondIntroductionThis is my fourth submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry. It should be read inaddition to, and in conjunction with, the three other previous submissions. Those priorsubmissions relate to the application of the procedure (phase 2), the Judicial Review(phase 3) and the Ministerial Code (phase 4).This final document accordingly includes an introduction and overview of matterslinking each of the four individual submissionsIt thereafter includes submissions on1. phase 1 of the Inquiry.2. the question of 'conspiracy'3. Crown OfficeDocumentary evidence exists to support all of the factual statements made in thissubmission. I have sought to provide that to the Committee where it is within mypower to do so. Despite repeated requests, however, Crown Office has not providedthe Committee with the critical evidence which was unable to be led in the HighCourt. Perhaps even more concerning is the direction from Crown Office that I facethe prospect of criminal prosecution for even referring to the existence of suchevidence or specifying (even in broad terms) what that evidence is. One of their letterseven suggested that the Committee's use of such documentation might also constitutea criminal offenceMy hope and belief, expressed outside the High Court in Edinburgh after myacquittal, was that documents which were not put before the jury and the public wouldbe published in the course of this Inquiry. To date, and despite the centrality of thosedocuments to the remit of this Committee and the overwhelming public interest intheir publication, Crown Office continue to veto any such publication under threat ofprosecution.Despite that deplorable prohibition, I can confirm that all of the material factualstatements made in this submission are supported by documentary evidence. Where Iam legally allowed to direct the Committee to such documents, I will be happy to doso.OverviewThe Committee has achieved progress in the volume of documentation supplied.However it has been fundamentally obstructed in three key areas.First on the legal advice which the Government received from external counsel in theJudicial Review. In normal circumstances the extraordinary discovery by thisCommittee that both Senior and Junior Counsel to the Government threatenedresignation because the case they were being asked to argue was unstateable would2have been headline news. However, despite two parliamentary votes, the full advicefrom Counsel hasn't been provided to the Committee. It is extraordinary that theLord Advocate, who could sanction such advice being published, has refused to do so.The legal provision for him to publish in the public interest is clear. Inexplicably, theLord Advocate has been able to simply refuse that request and to get away with doingso in the face of the will of the Committee and of Parliament. Despite that, it appearsfrom what has emerged that by October 2018 external counsel advised theGovernment that, on the balance of probability, they were heading for likely defeat.And yet, despite that advice and the cost of hundreds of thousands of pounds ofavoidable legal fees, the Scottish Government pressed on with a case they expected tolose. This submission explains why.Second the restriction arises as a result of the failure of the Government to providedocuments from when the Judicial Review started in August 2018 until the ScottishGovernment finally conceded in January 2019. There were 17 meetings with externalCounsel, daily meetings on progress of defending the Judicial Review (according toPaul Cackette, acting Solicitor to the Scottish Government during the case) and thriceweekly meetings according to Ms Judith Mackinnon, the Investigating Officer.However, the Committee has yet to publish (or to my knowledge see) a singlerelevant minute, email, text message or 'One Note' from that entire period relating tothose meetings despite being assured that such documents would be provided. Ofparticular interest to the Committee would be the extent to which various parties wereinformed of the progress of the case and in particular whether the Lord Advocate'sexpressed views on 'sisting' (pausing) the Judicial Review pending the criminal casewere discussed, how widely and with whom.Thirdly, the crown response to the section 23 request has hindered rather than assistedthe Committee. The information provided was neither sought nor publishable by theCommittee. Those in Crown Office providing that information must have been wellaware of that. However, text messages which could be properly considered andpublished and which have been part of the Committee's questioning and would beardirectly on the veracity of evidence given under oath to this Committee have beenwithheld. The blocking of the Committee in this matter and others is nothingwhatsoever to do with protecting the anonymity of complainants, which I support andhave upheld at every stage in this process. Rather, it is a matter of the shielding ofsome of the most powerful people in the country who are acutely aware of howexposed they would become.The Parliamentary Committee has already heard evidence of activities by civilservants, special advisers, Ministers and SNP officials which taken individually couldbe put down to incompetence, albeit on an epic scale. However taken together, andover such a prolonged period, it becomes impossible to explain such conduct asinadvertent co-incidence. The inescapable conclusion is of a malicious and concertedattempt to damage my reputation and remove me from public life in Scotland. It is anattempt which would, in fact, have succeeded but for the protection of the court andjury system and in particular the Court of Session and the High Court of Justiciary.However, underlying all of this and perhaps the most serious issue of all is thecomplete breakdown of the necessary barriers which should exist between3Government, political party and indeed the prosecution authorities in any countrywhich abides by the rule of law.In each of the written submissions under Phases 1-4 of the Inquiry remit I have soughtto explore those themes, and identify evidence to assist the Committee in doing its jobholding the Executive to account.The success, or failure, of this Committee in doing so will have a very significantbearing on public confidence in the ability of Parliament more generally to exposefailures across Government. The ramifications of a Committee unable to complete itswork due to delay, obstruction and refusal on the part of those under investigation areboth profound and chilling.Phase 1In relation to Phase 1, I am asked for evidence regarding the development of thepolicy.I would make the following general comments, on which I will be very happy toexpand in oral evidence.1) Fairness at WorkThe Committee has heard evidence on the origins of the Fairness at Work Policy 2010('FaW'). As First Minister I approved the policy and, in contrast to any otherwitnesses before this Inquiry, I was actually involved in its development.Implementation of the policy was achieved with the co-operation of the trade unionsand I was pleased to be the First Minister who sanctioned its adoption.As Appendix 1 from a Management Board meeting of 23 November 2009 makesclear, it was not evolved as a result of specific complaints about Ministers at the timebut reflected long standing trade union grievances about Ministerial Offices stretchingback to the days of the Scottish Office. FaW was the first workplace policy to includeMinisters and I approved it on the basis that it was made compatible with the statutebased Ministerial Code in which the First Minister is the final decision maker on thefate of a Minister facing a complaint. This was done by placing the Deputy FirstMinister in the deliberative part of the policy. The result was that only after arecommendation had been made would the First Minister finally decide. This wasaimed at avoiding him or her judging twice on the same case. The policy wasnegotiated over a period of 18 months, was carefully constructed, balanced andlawful. It was well received by all concerned.In the event there were no formal complaints made against any Minister under thepolicy and thus it was never invoked. Specifically and to my knowledge the presentFirst Minister was never informed about any complaints against me because therewere none. Similarly I was never informed about any complaints against her or anyother Minister under the terms of this policy because there were none.4In the evidence of Ms Richards (25th August 2020) she revealed that there have beentwo complaints under FaW against current Ministers since 2017. Presumably thesewill have been dealt with under the FaW provisions including the involvement ofJohn Swinney as Deputy First Minister.This Committee is charged with finding out what went wrong. It should also look atwhat can be done now to put matters right.Fairness at Work, of which the Permanent Secretary admitted in her evidence (inresponse to Ms Mitchell on 18th August 2020) to 'not being an expert', is in reality acarefully considered policy which is still in operation for the civil service and forserving Ministers with regard to bullying complaints. The Permanent Secretary'sextraordinary claim in the same evidence session that it does not cover harassmentcan only be a result of her admitted lack of familiarity with the policy. In reality itcovers this explicitly in paragraph 3.2.1. As recently as December 2017 FaW washailed by the unions in a letter to the Permanent Secretary as an achievement 'ofwhich we all should rightly be proud and something that sets up as being moreassiduous than our counterparts down south' ( FDA Convener)FaW is legal, not illegal. It is procedurally fair, not unfair. It was carefully considered,not rushed. It achieved the central longstanding workforce ambition of havingMinisters on the same footing as civil service managers. No doubt it can be updatedand improved but the current position of limbo is ridiculous.The concept of a civil service investigation into people over which they have nolegitimate jurisdiction is nonsensical and the idea of passing the results to the relevantpolitical party for action is self- evidently ludicrous. If legal action wasn't takenagainst the government it would inevitably follow against any political party whichattempted to proceed with any form of disciplinary action on such an unlawful basis.Fairness At Work should be reinstated at the earliest opportunity pending the Dunlopreview.2) The Development of the 2017 ProcedureThe Committee has already clearly established that there was no discussion orinformation presented to either Parliament or Cabinet on the 31st October 2017 ofextending work place policies to former Ministers. Nor was there any suggestion thatthis should be done in the Head of the Civil Service's letter of 3rd November 2017.And of course it was not carried forward in any other administration in the U.K. andwas opposed by of the UK Cabinet Office when they were briefly consultedon the proposal later in November 2017. As she wryly asked the Scottish Governmentat that time, was there also to be such a retrospective policy for former civil servants?Nor was the new policy signalled in any of the internal communications with staffuntil February 2018.The claim of the Government is that it came about independently from James Hyndwho was tasked with drafting the policy and delivered the first draft applying ONLY[Redacted] [Redacted]5to Former Ministers on November 8th 2017. However the previous day MsMcKinnon had circulated a 'routemap' of a policy which also suggested applying toformer Ministers. Mr Hynd reacted to that on 8th November saying that 'neither ofthe pathways involving Ministers look right'.It is stretching credibility to believe that this radical departure from all previous policyin the Scottish (or any other) administration was simultaneously and independentlydreamed up by two separate civil servants. This is despite Mr Hynd telling theCommittee on August 25th 2020 that he started with 'a blank sheet of paper'. In oneof the many letters to the Committee from civil servants correcting their evidence, MsMackinnon conceded on October 31 2020 that these things were 'happening inparallel'.

. That common factor isthe Permanent Secretary Leslie Evans whose office was deeply involved in directingthe work of both James Hynd on his policy and Ms Mackinnon on her route map.In addition we know now that Ms Evans went to see the First Minister on November6th about her information that Sky News were about to run a story concerningEdinburgh airport. I am now in the position to know exactly what this issue was aboutand the Permanent Secretary's fears that it was about to break as a major story weregroundless. However in the febrile atmosphere of November 2017 a sense ofproportion and due process was in short supply.In reality I had spent 30 years in public life in Scotland and for most of that time wascertainly the most investigated person in the country by the press. It is inherentlyunlikely that misconduct had remained unreported and undiscovered over such aperiod. Mr Murrell confirmed in his evidence to this Committee that he had neverheard of any such complaint against me in my entire time in politics and the FirstMinister confirmed this on BBC television to Andrew Marr on 7th October 2018.Regardless, the chronology revealed by the evidence tells us that the PermanentSecretary briefed the First Minister on 6th November 2017 on the proposed storyinvolving Edinburgh Airport. Further, the Permanent Secretary was contacted byBarbara Allison about a separate concern from a former civil servant on November 8th2017. Having briefed the First Minister on the first of these it might be consideredunlikely that she did not brief her on the second. In that context, the notion that apolicy instructed immediately afterwards which specifically, and uniquely, extendedto cover allegations against former ministers is co-incidental and unrelated is hardlysustainable.If further confirmation of the basis for the policy were needed, the Committee hasevidence of two directly political interventions at this stage.First, the Chief of Staff to the First Minister drafted a specific amendment on 17November 2017 which amended the commissioning letter instructing the policyproposing the wording 'but also former Ministers, including from previousadministrations regardless of Party'. This was in an email to Leslie Evans' PrivateSecretary. It is impossible to accept that such a radical expansion of the jurisdiction ofthe Scottish Government to cover not just former ministers of the currentadministration but also those of previous administrations (many of whom are no6longer even in elected office never mind in Government) was not specifically insertedto allow the complaint against me to be prosecuted.The second political intervention was when the First Minister and the PermanentSecretary reached agreement, perhaps at their meeting on November 29th but certainlybefore December 5th 2017, that the policy should be recast in order that FM should betaken out of the policy proper and only consulted or even informed after the processwas complete. This was a fundamental change in the policy.The timing of this is significant. When the Permanent Secretary agreed with the FirstMinister that she should take over as key decision maker in terms of this new policyshe was already aware of the developing complaints against me. Therefore she putherself at the centre of a policy in the full knowledge that I would likely be the first(and perhaps only given the subsequent declaration of illegality) subject of itsimplementation. Doing so from a position of already being tainted by bias is anextraordinary decision.Despite her protestations to the contrary the Permanent Secretary was chieflyresponsible for the pursuit of an unlawful policy which has cost the Scottish peoplemillions of pounds.In her letter of 21st June 2018 to Levy and McRae she describes the policy as'established by me'. She claimed ownership of it then, but not now. When asked atthe Committee she said 'there seems to have come into being a tradition of calling itmy procedure. It is not; it is a Scottish Government procedure and one that has beenagreed by Cabinet..' In fact, this procedure was never even seen by Cabinet orParliament.It was established by Ms Evans.In her presentations before the Committee, the Permanent Secretary still seemsoblivious to the scale of the disaster she has inflicted on all concerned or the enormityof the misjudgements she has made.The view that she should have resigned on 8th January 2019, the day that LordPentland's interlocutor judged the policy Ms Evans established and the actions takenas 'unlawful', 'unfair' and 'tainted by apparent bias' is widely shared not least byCabinet Ministers. The damage she has done to the reputation of the civil service isvery significant. In my view, any person conscious of the responsibility of holdinghigh office would have resigned long ago. Instead Ms Evans' contract was extended.3) The role of the Investigating OfficerAs the Committee has already discovered the 'prior contact' of the InvestigatingOfficer with the complainants was not 'welfare', as was indicated to Parliament, butwas specifically contact about emerging complaints, weeks before the policy underwhich they were to be pursued was even approved.The Committee has already established that complainants were informed that MsMcKinnon would be appointed the Investigating Officer in early December 2017,7long before complaints were actually made. The Committee has further establishedthat the draft policy was even shared with one complainant for her comment and thatMs Mackinnon was in contact with both complainants to discuss the basis on whichfuture complaints might be submitted under the policy.Documentation which finally emerged at the Commission and Diligence ordered bythe Court of Session at the end of December 2018 demonstrated that the Governmentpleadings were false in terms of the nature of this contact. This has been admitted bythe Lord Advocate in his evidence to the Inquiry on 8th September 2020. Again, suchconduct appears to carry no sanction. These are serious matters, especially so for aGovernment making statements to a public court.For example the 'OneNote' from Judith McKinnon dated January 9th 2018, andrevealed as a result of the Commission process, speaks to 'changing' the position of areluctant complainant, the sharing of complaints, and of it 'being better to get thepolicy finalised and approved before formal complaint comes in' and of not tellingthe FFM until we are 'ready'. It is this information that was completely at odds withthe government pleadings in the Judicial Review and indeed stands in stark contrastwith the oral evidence presented to the Committee.These practices are not just wrong, they are an affront to the principles whichunderpin workplace and human resources policy across the country. The Committeehas made reference to ACAS guidance at various stages of the Inquiry. How suchconduct could even be contemplated by an individual employed at significant publicexpense and with a string of HR qualifications remains to be explained.Watching the evidence before the Committee, it is apparent to me that even afterhaving conduct declared illegal in the Court of Session, those at fault in the civilservice still cannot accept the fact that they did something seriously wrong. In realitybehaving unlawfully is as serious as it gets for any public servant.The repeated claim that the terminology somehow changed for the first to the finaldrafts of the procedure thus causing confusion for those implementing the policy isnot just irrelevant (since it is only the final version that matters) it is also untrue.In fact one of the very few unchanged provisions in the policy as it went throughnumerous drafts and redrafts between November 8th to the final iteration onDecember 20 2017 was that the Senior Officer/ Investigating Officer should have 'noprior involvement'.Nor is it credible that the claim that the need for impartiality of an investigatingofficer or equivalent was misunderstood. On the contrary, both James Hynd (10thNovember 2017) offering 3 names at 'arms length' and Judith McKinnon (7thNovember 2017) seeking to engage an 'independent party to investigate' recognisedthis at an early stage.Whether that person came from the broader civil service or outside it is secondary.Perceived freedom from bias is an easily understood concept which is wellestablished in common law and in workplace policy. The appointment of JudithMcKinnon in this light was always wrong and is incomprehensible particularly in the8face of the fact that she has confirmed before this Committee that the nature of herprior contact with the complainants was well known and indeed sanctioned among hercolleagues and line managers.When the fact of it was discovered by the Government's external Counsel (and evenafter the duty of candour was explained to government lawyers by them on November2nd and then by the court on November 6th, both 2018) the attempt was still made inpleadings to present it as 'welfare' contact.The documents which demonstrated this to be false had to be extracted from theGovernment by a Commission and Diligence procedure under the authority of thecourt as granted by Lord Pentland. The documents then produced under thatprocedure emerged despite the Government being willing to certify to the Court thatthese documents simply did not exist. That conduct is outrageous for a Government.At the Commission itself, Senior Counsel for the Government (himself blameless forthe debacle) felt compelled to apologise to the court repeatedly as new batches ofdocuments emerged.It is highly probable that had this documentation not been concealed from the court(and from the Governments own counsel) the falsity of the Government's pleadingswould have been avoided. The fact that even after the Government case collapsed,misinformation then appeared in both a press release from the Permanent Secretaryand the First Minister's statement to Parliament of 8th January 2019 speaks to anorganisation unable and unwilling to admit the truth even after a catastrophic defeat,the terms of which they had conceded to the Court of Session.The interests of the complainantsI also want to make a submission about the claims by the Scottish Government tohave promoted the interests of the women who raised complaints. That is, on theevidence before the Committee, clearly false.The Permanent Secretary claimed to the Committee that the interests of thecomplainants were paramount in the Government thinking. This is very far from thecase.The complainants were brought into the process by conduct 'bordering onencouragement' as it was submitted by my Senior Counsel to Lord Pentland in theJudicial ReviewThe complainants were assured that they would be in control of the process and thatany police involvement would be their choice.This assurance has been stipulated from the earliest origins of the policy (eg NicolaRichards' email to Permanent Secretary of 23 November 2017) and remained in placeuntil the Permanent Secretary countermanded it in her instruction to Ms Richards tosend her decision report to the Crown Agent in August 2018, a move taken against thedirect wishes of the complainants.9They were offered the option of making 'anonymous complaints' for which there isno provision in the policy. However, when it came to actually protecting theanonymity of the complainants through a court order in the Judicial Review inOctober 2018 the Government was not even represented by Counsel in court. It was,in fact, me who instructed Counsel to seek that anonymity on the part of the womenconcerned.The investigation was carried out against the advice of the police who pointed out thatthe Scottish Government were not competent to conduct the investigation. This hasbeen made available to the Committee in the police evidence from the ChiefConstable.The reports to the Crown Office (instead of the police) were made against the expresswishes of both complainants and in direct conflict with the terms of the policy atparagraph 19.The leak of the story to the Daily Record on August 23 2018 was made with noconsideration of the impact on the complainants, impact which the PermanentSecretary described in her evidence as causing considerable distress to allconcerned. That, of course, was in itself in direct contravention of the confidentialityof the process promised to the complainants, and also to me.However, it had been the Permanent Secretary's own intention, despite police adviceto the contrary, to issue a press statement confirming the fact of the complaints onThursday 23 August 2018.This Committee's remit is to examine the actions of those in authority. Accordinglythe conduct of the Permanent Secretary and the civil servants and special advisersinvolved is important. To claim, as the Scottish Government has done, that the wishesand welfare of those who had made complaints were central to the decision making isdemonstrably untrue.The leak to the Daily RecordIn my view, the circumstances of the leak of the details of the complaints to the DailyRecord on 23rd/24th August 2018 should be thoroughly examined. It is highly likelythat the leak came from within the Scottish Government and, in all likelihood, fromone of the Special Advisers to the First Minister. The background facts may assistThe Permanent Secretary instructed her staff to send her Decision Report to theCrown Agent on or about August 21st 2018The Crown Agent, according to the police informed them of the Government'sintention to release a story of the fact of the complaints to the press and the ChiefConstable and another senior officer advised against it and refused to accept a copy ofthe report. We know, therefore, that the desire of the Scottish Government to get thesematters into the public domain is fully supported by evidence.Despite this police advice, two days later the Government informed my legal teamthey intended to release a statement at 5pm on Thursday 23 August 2018. We advised10that we would interdict the statement pending our Judicial Review petition and thestatement was withdrawn. On the strength of that undertaking, we didn't require toseek interdict.We were then informed at around 4pm that the Daily Record newspaper had phonedthe Scottish Government press office with knowledge of the story but had noconfirmation. At 8pm, the Record phoned and then emailed at 8.16pm claimingconfirmation had now been given and broke the story at 10pm. The second story theyprinted on Saturday 23rd August 2018 contained specific details from the complaintsand demonstrates that they also had access to the Permanent Secretary's decisionreport or an extract from it.This leak was (according to the ICO) prima facie criminal, deeply damaging to myinterests and those of the complainants and a direct contravention of the assurances ofconfidentiality given to all. After I formally complained to the ICO, the conclusion ofthe ICO reviewer assessing these facts was that she was 'sympathetic to the thesisthat the leak came from a Government employee'. The only reason no further actioncould be taken was because the specific individual could not be identified withoutpolice investigation. I intend to return to that police complaint when this Committeehas concluded its review. I should say that I am confident that I know the identity ofthose involved in the leak.John Somers, The Principal Private Secretary to the First Minister confirmed that heroffice had received a copy of the Permanent Secretary's report in evidence on 1stDecember 2020. However, that evidence was then corrected to say that it had notbeen received. However, that is difficult to reconcile with the ICO review report(paragraph 4.8) which list the PPS, and therefore The Private Office as one of thestakeholders 'who has access to the internal misconduct investigation report'.It is unlikely that a leak to the Daily Record came from mainstream civil service. Theoverwhelming likelihood is that it came from a Special Adviser to the First Ministerwho had access to the report or an extract from it which was the basis of the DailyRecord story of August 25th 2018.The question of 'conspiracy'It has been a matter of considerable public interest whether there was 'a conspiracy'. Ihave never adopted the term but note that the Cambridge English Dictionary defines itas 'the activity of secretly planning with other people to do something bad or illegal.'I leave to others the question of what is, or is not, a conspiracy but am very clear inmy position that the evidence supports a deliberate, prolonged, malicious andconcerted effort amongst a range of individuals within the Scottish Government andthe SNP to damage my reputation, even to the extent of having me imprisoned.That includes, for the avoidance of doubt, Peter Murrell (Chief Executive), IanMcCann (Compliance officer) and Sue Ruddick (Chief Operating Officer) of the SNPtogether with Liz Lloyd, the First Minister's Chief of Staff. There are others who, forlegal reasons, I am not allowed to name.11The most obvious and compelling evidence of such conduct is contained within thematerial crown office refuses to release. That decision is frankly disgraceful. Refusingto allow the Committee to see that material both denies me the opportunity to put thefull truth before the Committee and the public, and makes it impossible for theCommittee to complete its task on a full sight of the relevant material. The onlybeneficiaries of that decision to withhold evidence are those involved in conductdesigned to damage (and indeed imprison) me.From a very early stage in the Judicial Review the Government realised that theywere at risk of losing. By October they were told by external counsel that on thebalance of probability they would likely lose. This is the legal advice they havehidden from the Committee in defiance of two parliamentary votes.As the Committee has heard in evidence there were 17 meetings of the Committeeformed to monitor and plan the Scottish Government defence of the Judicial Reviewbetween August 2018 and January 2019. Paul Cackette in his evidence said that therewere daily meetings while Ms Mackinnon suggested three times a week. Despite thisinformation being offered at the evidence session of 1st December no information hasbeen received by the Committee of any of these meetings. I believe there have to besuch emails which show the Lord Advocate's advice on the possibilities of sisting(pausing) the Judicial Review behind the criminal case. The advantage of doing so ina context where the Judicial Review was likely to be lost was clear. Any adversecomment or publicity about the illegality of the Scottish Government actions wouldbe swept away in the publicity of my arrest and subsequent criminal proceedings.It became common knowledge in government, special advisers and the SNP that theJudicial Review was in trouble for the Government and the hope was that policeaction would mean that it never came to court, that the JR would be overtaken by thecriminal investigation.In evidence Ms Allison on 15th September 2020 specifically denied that the ScottishGovernment had any role in contacting potential witnesses or former civil servantsafter the police investigation had started on August 23rd 2018. This is not true.I enclose at appendix 2 a copy of an unsolicited email sent by Ms Allison herself to anex Scottish Government employee on August 27th who then received a furtherunsolicited email from Ms Ruddick of the SNP the following day (appendix 3) Theindividual concerned, who provided a defence statement, had never even been amember of the SNP. I believe her contact details were given to Ms Allison by aGovernment Special Adviser.Another Special Adviser was in contact with the majority of people who thereafterbecame complainants in the criminal trial, shortly after the story being leaked to theDaily Record on August 23rd 2018.In his evidence session of 8 February 2021 Mr Murrell spoke of the letter sent by theFM round all SNP members on 27th August 2018. I pause briefly to note that despitethe email reaching 100,000 members, not one complaint about me was received inresponse. However, what he did not disclose was the email round SNP staff and exstaff members sent by his Chief Operating Officer from late August 2018 (enclosed as12appendix 3). This email was sent selectively. Some staff members were targeted andsent it. Others were not.The recruitment of names to receive this email provoked opposition. Appendix 4shows the refusal of a senior member of the SNP administrative team at Westminsterto supply names to HQ. The staff member expressed the view that she was notprepared to take part in an obvious 'witch-hunt' which would be incompatible withher professional responsibilities as a lawyer. At Appendix 5 I enclose the terms of anaffidavit of the staff member who has agreed to have it shared with the Committee.What is clear is that even at the time of the initial trawl for potentially supportiveindividuals, there was profound disquiet about the ethics and legality of the approach.In addition to advocating the 'pressurising' of the police (those text messages arepublic and before the Committee), Mr Murrell deployed his senior staff to recruit andpersuade staff and ex staff members to submit police complaints. This activity wasbeing co-ordinated with special advisers and was occurring after the policeinvestigation had started and after I ceased to be a member of the SNP. From thedescription of the material released to the Committee under section 23 it is clear thatany supporting evidence establishing this point was not shared with the Committee bythe crown office. Why?It was clear that defeat in the Judicial Review would have severe consequences.Cabinet Ministers thought it should lead to the resignation of the PermanentSecretary. The Special Adviser most associated with the policy believed that her jobwas in jeopardy and accordingly sought to change press releases in light of that. TheFirst Minister's team felt threatened by the process as did the civil service. Thedocumentary evidence shows that special advisers were using civil servants andworking with SNP officials in a fishing expedition to recruit potential complainants.This activity was taking place from late August 2018 to January 2019, after the policeinvestigation had started.The Judicial Review cannot be viewed in isolation. The effect of it, and its likelyresult of a defeat for the Scottish Government led to the need to escalate these mattersto the police, even if that meant doing so entirely against the wishes of the twowomen who had raised concerns. The Permanent Secretary's 'we've lost the battlebut not the war' message of January 8th 2019 to Ms Allison whilst on holiday in theMaldives is not (as she tried to claim) a general appeal for equality but rather showsher knowledge that there were further proceedings to come and her confidence thatthe criminal procedure would render such a loss in the Court of Session irrelevant. Inote in passing, that such language is, in any event, totally incompatible with the roleof a professional civil servant.The Role of the Crown OfficeThe Crown Office has intervened three times to deny this Committee information forwhich it has asked.This has been done by reliance on legislation which was never designed to obstructthe work of a Parliamentary Committee acting in the public interest and investigating13the actions of the Scottish Government. I know this to be true because I was FirstMinister when the legislation was passed in 2010. The true purpose of s. 162 of theCriminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 was to prevent witness statementsfalling into the hands of the accused and being used to intimidate or exert retributionon witnesses and further because of instances of evidence ending up held or disposedof in an insecure fashion. The basis of the legislation was Lord Coulsfield's Report(2007) and the intent was to clarify the legal requirements of disclosure and toestablish practical arrangements to prevent the misuse of disclosure. Thus section 162(and 163) had nothing whatsoever to do with preventing relevant evidence beingpresented to a parliamentary Committee and its misinterpretation as such by theCrown Office is a profoundly disquieting development which strikes at the heart ofthe parliamentary system of accountability.On 17th September 2020 the Crown Office said that our proposal to the Committee toidentify the existence of documents which had not been provided by the Governmentbut which had been disclosed to me in the criminal case would be covered by Section163 of the 2010 Act that 'any person who knowingly uses or discloses information incontravention of section 162 commits an offence'Just in case we did not get the message he repeated the same point on 3 November2020. On 17th December 2020 the Crown's representative went further to blockinformation specifically requested by the Committee 'For you or your client toaccede to the request of the clerk to the Committee would require both the use anddisclosure of said information. As such what is proposed would amount to a clearbreach of section 162 which, by reference to section 163 would amount to a criminaloffence'.He then appears to suggest that the Committee itself would be in danger ofprosecution if we had acceded to the clerk's request.'Further, any person who received such information from you or your client wouldalso be in breach of section 162, and consequently section 163, if they use or disclosethat information. In these circumstances I do not consider what is proposed isacceptable'This is a letter from an unelected official citing legislation passed by this Parliamentfor quite different reasons and using it to deny information to a Committee of electedparliamentarians. Some of the information we intended to provide includedGovernment documents which should have been provided to the Committee in thefirst place. This position is extraordinary and totally unacceptable.Given this attitude to disclosure by the Scottish Government and Crown Office, itbecomes highly surprising that when this Committee exerted section 23 powers torequire documents it was given irrelevant information for which it had not asked andcould never be published while relevant information remained undisclosed. It is alsoclear that Government SPADS were briefing the media on this information beforemembers had even seen it. This is not the behaviour of a prosecution departmentindependent of government influence.14The Lord Advocate said in his evidence on 17th November 2020 that he thought theCommittee has seen this correspondence. As far as I am aware this is not the caseNevertheless, I am happy now to provide that correspondence if the Committee sowishes. In his latest letter of 8th February the Lord Advocate pointedly fails to answerthe specific question from the Committee Convener of 3rd February seekingconfirmation that all Government records had been provided.As was glaringly clear from his evidence and his inability to address the most basic ofquestions, his denial of provision of the legal advice of external counsel, his costlydelay in settling the case, his refusal to confirm what the Committee eventually foundout that both Counsel threatened to resign from the case, the Lord Advocate is deeplycompromised between his twin roles as head of prosecutions and chief governmentlegal adviser.However the matter goes further yet. The Permanent Secretary has confirmed inevidence to the Committee that the referral to the crown office was contrary to theexpress wishes of the complainants. In spite of his protestations that he recusedhimself from anything to do with the criminal investigation. I believe that theCommittee should ask the Lord Advocate directly whether he instructed twounwilling complainants to make police statements.Secondly the Committee has heard of the highly unusual route via the Crown Agentthat the Permanent Secretary ordered her staff, against the wishes of the complainants,to present her report to the Chief Constable. Crown Agent David Harvie's linemanager at that time was Leslie Evans, the Permanent Secretary.The Crown Office under current leadership is a department simply not fit for purpose.SummaryThe procedure was devised when the Permanent Secretary, as decision maker, hadknowledge of emerging complaints against me. From the outset the PermanentSecretary was compromised and should not have taken on that role.The procedure was unsound not just in its implementation but in its genesis. It wasdevised 'at pace', probably with the purpose of progressing complaints against meand certainly without proper care or regard to its legality or effective consultationwith the unions.The documents disclosed to the Committee demonstrate further serious abuses ofprocess by both the Investigating Officer and the Permanent Secretary.In a further breach of the duty of candour the Government owed to the Court, thosedocuments were not made available at Judicial Review.The Investigating Officer had not just 'prior involvement', but subsequently regularcontact with the complainants of a nature and level which was self-evidentlyinconsistent with that of an impartial official.15The Permanent Secretary who in her own words 'established' the procedure met orspoke to both complainants on multiple occasions (including in mid process) andfailed to disclose this in either the civil or criminal case.The procedure was conceptually flawed and would have collapsed on principle evenif it had been properly implemented. It is a retrospective, hybrid policy, which claimsjurisdiction over private citizens who might have no connection whatsoever with theScottish Government and shows complete confusion between the legitimate roles ofGovernment and political parties.It is demonstrably unfair. It transgresses the most basic principles of natural justice innot even allowing the person complained about the right to prepare their own defence.In addition, the Permanent Secretary denied access to civil servants, witnessstatements or even my diaries until they were pursued in a subject access request.The Government wasaware at a very early stage that they were at significant risk ofdefeat in the Judicial Review, and by October 2018 were advised that, on the balanceof probabilities, they were likely to lose. Nevertheless they kept the clock running andthe public ended up paying over £600,000 as a result.This information on likely defeat in the JR was communicated to key decision makers– the Permanent Secretary, First Minster, the Lord Advocate, the Chief of Staff- inmeetings with external Counsel through October and November 2018.The interests of complainants were disregarded by the Government in refusingmediation initially without consultation, being given no consultation whatsoever onthe possibility of arbitration, being given false assurances on the Governmentaccepting their clear view against reporting matters to the police and then sending thereport to the Crown Office against their express wishes. The Government didn't eveninstruct counsel to attend court for the procedural hearing to address my applicationto guarantee the anonymity of complainants.The Crown Office has blocked key information coming to this Inquiry by wilfullymisinterpreting legislation designed for other purposes.The Lord Advocate is manifestly conflicted in his roles as both Government legaladviser and prosecutor.The advice of the Lord Advocate at one stage included, for example, the option ofsisting (pausing) the Judicial Review to allow a criminal case to overtake the JRproceedings. A consequence of this happening would have been to protect thegovernment from the catastrophic damage arising from losing the judicial review anda finding of unlawful conduct.This prospect provided an incentive and imperative for the recruiting andencouragement of police complaints from others.This was done by the closest advisers to the First Minister and senior SNP officialsactively involving civil servants AFTER the police investigation had started.16The Permanent Secretary ordered her decision report to be sent to the Crown Agent,David Harvie, against the terms of the policy and the wishes of the complainants. Atthat time I understand that she was his line manager.Against police advice the Permanent Secretary decided to press release the fact ofcomplaints on Thursday 21st August 2018. That publication was only prevented bythreat of legal action by my solicitors.A matter of hours later, there was what the ICO assessed as a prima facie criminalleak of information including details of complaints to the Daily Record, in breach ofmy rights of confidentiality, and those of the complainants. Such action was alsocontrary to the express assurances of confidentiality offered to all parties and centralto such workplace issues.The Judicial Review was only conceded when both Counsel threatened to resign fromthe caseThe policy and actions of the Permanent Secretary and the Government were acceptedas and then judged as 'unlawful', 'procedurally unfair' and 'tainted by apparentbias'.The real cost to the Scottish people runs into many millions of pounds and yet no-onein this entire process has uttered the simple words which are necessary on occasionsto renew and refresh democratic institutions - 'I Resign'.The Committee now has the opportunity to address that position.Rt. Hon. Alex Salmond17th February 2021From: Alex SalmondSent: 15 February 2021 03:07To: David McKie ; Duncan HamiltonSubject: APPENDIX 2From:Date: August 27, 2018 at 7:46:13 AM GMT-5To: REDACTEDCc:Subject: PersonalHello (REDACTED)I am not sure if you will remember me. I was Director of People/HR at the time youworked with Scottish Government. I hope that this finds you well.You may be aware that there has been considerable media coverage here over thepast few days in connection with the former First Minister. We are aware that thiscoverage has been quite upsetting for some people and we are keen to support inany way we can.Your name and email address has been provided by a current employee at theScottish Government, noting that you were someone who worked with ScottishGovernment previously and they were keen to ensure that you were offered anysupport you may require.I would be very happy to have a chat by phone or by email and put you in touch withthe various support channels if that would be helpful.Kind regardsBarbaraBARBARA ALLISON,Director, Communications, Ministerial Support and FacilitiesScottish Government.Tel:Sent from my iPadIMPORTANT NOTICE: The information in this email is confidential and is for the use of the addressee only. Some or all of theinformation may be legally privileged. Any disclosure, use or copying of the information in this email other than by the intendedrecipient, is prohibited and would be a breach of confidentiality. If you have received this email in error, please notify the authorby replying to this email or telephoning 0141 307 2311. Levy & McRae has taken all reasonable precautions to ensure that anyemail attachments have been swept for viruses. Accordingly, no liability is accepted for any damage caused as a result of a virus.Please ensure that you carry out appropriate virus checks before opening any attachments. Unless related to the business of thefirm, the opinions expressed within this email are the opinions of the sender and do not necessarily constitute those of Levy &McRae. Levy & McRae is the trading name of Levy & McRae Solicitors LLP, a limited liability partnership registered in Scotland withnumber SO305445. A list of members is open to inspection at our office. Our email system is subject to random recording andmonitoring by us.[Redacted] [Redacted] [Redacted] [Redacted] [Redacted] [Redacted]Appendix 2Please be aware of cyber-crimeWe will not change bank account details during the course of a transaction. If you are due to transfer money to Levy & McRae andhave received an e-mail with the sort code and account details you should call your Levy & McRae contact to corroborate thesedetails. Please use a phone number from our website or terms of engagement letter and not one from the same e-mail as containsthe bank account details. For other advice on protection from cyber-crime, see the action fraud website - www.actionfraud.org.ukAppendix 3Appendix 5

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Daily uk news Scottish government GAGS Alex Salmond's bombshell evidence that 'risks identifying accusers' - as he threatens to CANCEL his blockbuster testimony tomorrow after accusing Sturgeon of plot to throw him in jail  MetiNews.Com


Daily uk news Scottish government GAGS Alex Salmond's bombshell evidence that 'risks identifying accusers' - as he threatens to CANCEL his blockbuster testimony tomorrow after accusing Sturgeon of plot to throw him in jail  MetiNews.Com

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