Alex Salmond inquiry: Holyrood to remove, redact, and republish ministerial code submission after Crown intervention
MSPs on the Scottish Parliament’s Corporate Body (SPCB) “agreed collectively” to remove the submission with “immediate effect” following an emergency meeting on Tuesday morning.
The Crown Office had written to the SPCB on Monday night expressing “grave concerns” around the legality of the submission and the potential for jigsaw identification of complainers in Mr Salmond’s criminal trial.
Responding following the meeting, a Scottish Parliament spokesperson said: “Following representations from the Crown Office on Monday evening, the SPCB agreed collectively this morning that it will remove the Alex Salmond submission on the ministerial code from its website with immediate effect and republish it later today in a redacted form.
"The SPCB will respond formally to the Crown Office shortly.”
The submission in question is the revised submission by the former first minister detailing his belief that Ms Sturgeon breached the ministerial code.
His original submission on the matter was subject to a court challenge by The Spectator magazine after the Holyrood committee on harassment complaints blocked its publication twice.
It is understood the revised submission to the committee that is now being removed and republished was believed by the Salmond camp to take the matter out of the hands of the committee.
The intervention from the Crown followed the publication by Holyrood of Mr Salmond’s explosive final submission to the ongoing parliamentary inquiry in which he accuses high-ranking members of the SNP and the Scottish Government of conspiring to put him in jail.
Responding to news of the letter, a spokesperson for the Scottish Parliament said: “The Crown Office wrote to the SPCB last night. We have asked the Crown Office to clarify its concern so that we can respond today.”
The harassment complaints committee is examining the botched handling of harassment complaints against Mr Salmond by the Scottish Government, which led to a £500,000 legal bill after the Government conceded a judicial review challenge on the grounds of the process being “tainted by apparent bias”.
Mr Salmond was also acquitted of sexual offence charges in a trial last year.
Ms Sturgeon is expected to give evidence next week.