Inquiry finds Sturgeon guilty of misleading parliament
March 2021: An investigation by a Scottish parliament committee into the government’s unlawful handling of harassment allegations against Alex Salmond concluded that Nicola Sturgeon had misled parliament.
A few weeks after, Liz Lloyd was dismissed from her post as Chief of Staff to Nicola Sturgeon and took an extended leave of absence, returning to the Scottish Government in August 2021 as a “Special Adviser” reporting direct to the First Minister fulfilling a new role, created by Sturgeon with responsibility to work across government and with stakeholders to provide strategic advice on the delivery of the government’s policy programme.
A kick in the teeth for many Scots who thought that a small amount of justice had been gained by her dismissal. No chance!!!!
Roles and responsibilities of the Special Adviser (SPAD)
SPAD’s are not civil servants but as paid employees of the State they are – subject to specified exceptions – required to conduct themselves in accordance with the Civil Service Code.” which states that the highest standards of conduct are expected of them.
i. “Specifically, the preparation or dissemination of inappropriate material or personal attacks has no part to play in the job of being a special adviser as it has no part to play in the conduct of public life.
ii. “Any special adviser ever found to be disseminating inappropriate material will automatically be dismissed by their appointing minister.
iii. “Special advisers…must observe discretion and express comment with moderation, avoiding personal attacks.”
iv “All contacts with news media should be authorized, in advance by the First Minister.”
Afternote 1: Liz Lloyd was awarded civil servant status and received more than £6,000 in legal advice relating to her conduct. She refused to to appear at the inquiry and instead submitted written evidence which could not be challenged. The content of the £6,000 letter to the inquiry was rendered useless since it was so heavily redacted by the Scottish Government before submission.
Afternote 2: It has been established, beyond reasonable doubt that the criminal passing of confidential government information about false allegations of misconduct in office by Alex Salmond to the Daily Record and journalist David Clegg in October 2017, was the act of a senior Scottish Government SPAD.
That person is still in the employ of the Minister concerned so it follows (interpreting the rule) that the leak was authorised, in advance by the Minister.
That person needs to be exposed to the public and the police so that appropriate action can be taken to restore the confidence of the electorate who are disillusioned by the s***house politicking of its government ministers.
“Special Adviser” activities are constrained by a number of restrictions.
They are not permitted to:
participate in Westminster or Scottish political activities, including, in a party political organisation, any office which impinges wholly or mainly on party politics.
speak in public on matters of Westminster or Scottish political controversy.
express views on Westminster or Scottish politics in letters to the Press, or in blogs, books, articles or leaflets
being announced publicly as a candidate or prospective candidate for the Westminster or Scottish Parliament.
canvass on behalf of a candidate for the Westminster or Scottish political institutions or on behalf of a political party.
Comment: In reality all of the foregoing restrictions are, with the tacit support of senior government ministers routinely ignored by Sturgeons “Special Adviser” team whose conduct is placed above the laws of good political practice.
Liz Lloyd tries to play both sides
Geoff Aberdein revealed that Liz Lloyd, Sturgeon’s, chief of staff told him at a meeting in Aberdeen, on 6 March 2018 that she “suspected” the Scottish Government was investigating the former first minister over sexual harassment claims. She also revealed the name of one of the complainants
The new details were contained in a statement released by Aberdein confirming he was the mysterious “intermediary” who, as a longstanding associate and friend of Alex Salmond and in the interests of transparency, helped set up a series of meetings between Sturgeon and Salmond in late March, early April 2018.
Lloyd later confirmed at a meeting between her Aberdein in late March 2018, arranged again at Lloyd’s request, that she suspected the Scottish Government had received an official complaint about Mr Salmond. She said she did not know the full details of any potential complaint and had not alerted the First Minister to her suspicions about a potential complaint.
Sturgeon insisted she first learned that Leslie Evans, Scotland’s chief civil servant, had launched an investigation from Salmond, in person at Sturgeon’s home, on 2 April 2018.
But a spokesman for Alex Salmond yesterday claimed: “In the interests of accuracy it is the case that Sturgeon’s, senior special adviser, Liz Lloyd, knew of the existence of complaints against Alex well before the meeting of 2 April 2018 and that she had initiated the first contact through Geoff Aberdein, “They then arranged the meetings which Alex asked for. Alex has no certainty as to the state of knowledge of the first minister before then.”
Full details provided to the inquiry by Duncan Hamilton, Advocate: (https://archive2021.parliament.scot/HarassmentComplaintsCommittee/General%20documents/Duncan_Hamilton.pdf)
More here: David Davis reveals all of the shenanigans: (https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/19165243.mps-hear-claim-sturgeon-chief-aide-interfered-v-bad-salmond-complaints-process/)
Liz Lloyd studied at the university.