Nicola Sturgeon slams Davis' 'conspiracy theories' on Salmond
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The Scottish First Minister was challenged to respond to David Davis’ allegations during Wednesday’s Coronavirus briefing. Under parliamentary privilege, the former Brexit Secretary said documents from a whistleblower suggested there was a “concerted effort by key SNP official to encourage complaints” against Alex Salmond. Nicola Sturgeon fired back when pressed on the revelations telling journalist she would not have the briefing sidetracked by the former SNP leader’s latest”conspiracy theories.”
Ms Sturgeon said: “Other than to say that I refute, strongly refute, the suggestions and insinuations from David Davis in the House of Commons last night.
“I am not going to have this Covid briefing sidetracked in the latest instalment of Alex Salmond’s conspiracy theory.
“I have given eight hours of evidence to the parliamentary committee looking into this, they are now able to access all of the evidence they have taken.
“Including I am sure the evidence they have in relation to the suggestions and claims made by David Davis last night.”
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Addressing the House of Commons on Tuesday night, Mr Davis said: “We have in effect given the Holyrood inquiry the right to summon evidence but not to use it. It’s because of these failings that I bring this debate today.
“We need to reinforce the ability of the Scottish Parliament to hold its own government to account. I’m here to strengthen the Scottish Parliament, not to bury it.
“A few weeks ago I was passed some papers from an anonymous whistleblower, the information of those papers consisted of a download of text messages of Sue Ruddick, the Chief Operating Officer of the SNP.”
He continued: “The download I’m talking about is held by the Scottish police so the accuracy of this account can be checked if they need to.
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“Alex Salmond has asserted that there has been a ‘malicious and concerted attempt to remove me from public life in Scotland by a range of individuals in the Scottish government and the SNP who set out to damage his reputation even to the extent of having him imprisoned’.
“These are incredibly grave charges. The whistleblower clearly agrees with those charges.
“He or she starts their communication with the assertion that the evidence provided ‘point to collusion, perjury, up to criminal conspiracy’.
“Since I’ve received the data it looks as though the committee has at least received some of it themselves and some has also been put in the public domain by the honourable member of East Lothian.
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“It was described anonymously by one of the committee members as ‘just private conversations we had no business intruding on’ well let the house be the judge of that.
“No single sequence of text is going to provide conclusive proof of the whistleblower described as a criminal conspiracy but it does show a very strong case which demands serious investigation by which I mean a thorough review of all the emails and electronic messages between all relevant personnel between relevant times.
“For example, these texts show there’s a concerted effort by senior members of the SNP to encourage complaints.”
In response to Mr Davis’ comments, a spokesperson for the First Minister said: “As with Mr Salmond’s previous claims and cherry-picking of messages, the reality is very different to the picture being presented.“Every message involving SNP staff has been seen by the committee previously. Their views have been widely reported as dismissive of them.”
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