Hostilities between Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon have taken a fresh twist after the former first minister accused his successor of “rewriting history” by removing his name from the SNP’s website.
But Mr Salmond was accused of throwing a “temper tantrum” by political opponents as the fallout of the Scottish Government’s botched sexual harassment inquiry into him continues.
Mr Salmond led the party to its historic first Scottish election victory in 2007 when he became the SNP’s first ever first minister. But a “history” section of the party website detailing this achievement makes no mention of Salmond. An article on the 2014 independence referendum also fails to mention him.
An older, archived page from the website, under a section entitled Our Party, does carry a picture of Mr Salmond and mentions him in relation to the referendum on independence in 2014.
A spokesman for the ex-first minister said: “Nicola should stop rewriting history and concentrate on making history by taking Scotland to independence.
An SNP spokeswoman said: “Alex Salmond still gets numerous hits on our website.”
Liberal Democrat MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton mocked the row between the SNP luminaries, saying: “It’s no surprise that a man who missed a parliamentary debate on Syria to attend the unveiling of a portrait of himself is now having a temper tantrum at being written out of SNP history.”
The relationship between Mr Salmond and Ms Sturgeon, his former deputy, has nosedived following the collapse of Scottish Government investigation into allegations of sexual harassment against the former party leader. He denies all the claims.
It emerged that the two SNP figures held a series of private meetings while the case was ongoing. A former Salmond aide, Geoff Aberdein, claimed this week that Ms Sturgeon’s chief of staff, Liz Lloyd, had been aware of the misconduct probe in late March – before Ms Sturgeon claims to have been aware of it.
But this was rejected by Ms Sturgeon’s team, who have accused the Salmond camp of conducting a “vendetta” against Ms Lloyd and carrying out a smear campaign.
Mr Salmond complained that individuals are seeking to remove him as a “political threat”.
The former first minister used his chat show on Kremlin-backed channel RT last week to increase the pressure on his successor to press ahead with a second independence referendum.
Ms Sturgeon has already banned government ministers from appearing on the show. But Western Isles SNP MP Angus MacNeil appeared on the latest programme, and was asked by Mr Salmond if Ms Sturgeon should “seize this moment of Parliamentary crisis at Westminster to forward the independence plans.” Mr MacNeil replied: “Absolutely … she has to trigger the gun that its going to happen in a specific window.”
Ms Sturgeon this week insisted her job is not on the line over the fallout of the investigation.
But the First Minister admitted she is going through “difficult issues” with her former mentor during a flying visit to the Commons.