Sturgeon shamed as ‘incompetent’ SNP comes under question in tense FMQs ‘Nicola must quit’

Nicola Sturgeon accused of ‘incompetence’ by Ruth Davidson

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Nicola Sturgeon and Scottish Conservative Ruth Davidson traded brutal blows during a tense First Minister’s Questions session at Holyrood on Thursday. The fiery exchange took place against the backdrop of the Alex Salmond inquiry and the First Minister’s first appearance this week in front of the committee investigating allegations that Ms Sturgeon misled the Scottish Parliament. The furious row in PMQs saw the Scottish Tory leader slam the SNP Government over “secrecy” and “incompetence.” 

Ms Davidson confronted the First Minister saying: “I want everyone to understand how incompetent and secretive this government is.”

The Scottish Tory leader attacked Ms Sturgeon over released emails showing advice it had received warning that it was likely to lose a judicial review of its handling of sexual harassment complaints against Mr Salmond in 2018.

She said: “Legal counsel was provided with one e-mail in a chain, it was a crucial element in their defence.

“But they were not given the next e-mail sent less than half an hour later in the same chain it was withheld.

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“When it was finally handed over it was one of the final straws and her lawyers had to threaten to resign to force the government’s hand,

She continued: “That information was available the whole time, the Government could have past it to their lawyers in September or October or November,

“But they withheld it, they kept it secret and it cost them months and all of us half a million pounds of taxpayers money.

Turning to the First Minister, Ms Davidson asked: “Why was the crucial evidence withheld for months from the Government’s own the legal team?”

During the exchange, Ms Davidson also renewed calls for the Scottish First Minister to resign.

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Ms Sturgeon replied: “The case ultimately collapsed because information came to light.

She added: “By the time I sit down after this session of First Minister’s Questions today, I will have been subjected, rightly and properly, to ten hours of parliamentary scrutiny over the course of this week,

“That is me doing my job in discharging my responsibilities but can I gently point out to Ruth Davidson that this democratic institution that she extolls the virtues of is the same democratic institution that she is about to depart to take up a seat in the unelected House of Lords.

“I think people across the country are becoming heartily sick of the soon to be Baroness Davidson lecturing anybody else on democracy.

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It comes after new documents published by the Scottish Government on Tuesday evening included email advice from a senior lawyer who was “very concerned indeed” about the sexual harassment case in October 2018, with the Government’s counsel urging it to admit defeat by December 6.

They admitted defeat in January 2019, paying Mr Salmond more than £500,000 in legal fees after admitting its investigation into the allegations had been unlawful as the civil servant tasked with investigating the complaints had already been in contact with the complainants.

Mr Salmond alleged there had been a “deliberate suppression of information inconvenient to the government” and claimed he had been given a memory stick in the build up to his criminal trial that contained messages which involved “pressuring police”, “collusion of witnesses” and “construction of evidence because police were felt to be inadequate in finding it themselves”.

Ms Sturgeon has strongly denied all the allegations made by her former predecessor. 

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