Friday, 16 Apr 2021

‘You’re conflating things’ SNP MP shuts down Naga Munchetty over Sturgeon evidence hearing

Naga Munchetty clashes with SNP MP on Salmond inquiry

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BBC Breakfast’s Naga Munchetty demanded to know why the Scottish Government took so long to act on the advice from lawyers in the Alex Salmond sexual harassment inquiry. Mr Salmond was acquitted of all sexual assault charged against him. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was called to give evidence on Wednesday to the Scottish Parliament’s committee as they investigated the Government’s handling of the Alex Salmond issue. 

SNP MP Alyn Smith insisted Ms Munchetty was conflating things as the pair rowed over the issue on BBC Breakfast. 

Ms Munchetty said: “When the documents were published on Tuesday the emails showed, in regards to this case, a senior lawyer was very concerned indeed about the case.

“This was in October 2018, it urged the Government’s council to admit defeat by December 6th.

“The Scottish National Party did not do that until January 2019.

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“That is when the Government had to pay Alex Salmond’s legal costs of half a million pounds.

“So it didn’t react straight away.”

Mr Smith replied: “See that is where you are conflating a few different things there, Naga.

“The Scottish National Party is the Government of Scotland but the Government of Scotland has judicial roles which is where this case was taken.

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“It was the Government’s mishandling of the enquiry which was the judicial review.

“Frankly, six weeks isn’t a long period of time in a legal case.

“I’m a solicitor myself.”

Ms Munchetty interrupted to say that six weeks was not straight away.

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Mr Smith continued: “It is not straight away but it was settled.

“So the advice you are talking about was acted upon, the case was settled and the legal fees were paid.

“That is the sort of stuff that has been ventilated by the Committee because clearly, and I’m not denying this, there are lessons we need to learn from this.”

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