20 December 2017: Draft letter compiled, from the First Minister to all former Scottish Government Minsters advising that a new retrospective examination of allegations of harassment would be applied from the opening of Holyrood. There was no indication of any intention by the Government to conduct a “lookback” trawl of previously investigated and settled claims. But any allegations not previously reported would be considered and investigated.
DRAFT LETTER TO FORMER FIRST MINISTERS
I am sure you will share my deep concern about the recent reports concerning allegations of sexual harassment and other inappropriate conduct by those in public life. I am pleased that the Scottish Parliament and Scottish political leaders have spokenwith one voice to condemn such behaviour,wherever it occurs.
We each have a duty, in our own areas of responsibility, to take whatever action we can to demonstrate zero tolerance of inappropriate behaviours of this sort. To that end,I recently asked the Permanent Secretary to carry out a full review of the Scottish Government’s internal policies and procedures to ensure that they are effective and offer assurance to SG staff that they can expect to be treated with respect and dignity. It is also of great importance that staff can be confident that any concerns they have about their treatment will be fully investigated.
In parallel,I have also been reflecting on how we might further underpin the standards of behaviour expected of Ministers. As you know,if a question arises about the conduct of a Minister it is, under the Scottish Ministerial Code, the responsibility of the incumbent First Minister to instruct an investigation into the matter and, in light of the investigation,to decide if the Minister in question should remain in post.
To provide further reassurance to Scottish Government staff, I have decided that in future any formal complaint from a staff member relating to sexual harassment against a serving Minister will be investigated automatically by the Permanent Secretary without my intervention. I intend to bring forward a change to the Ministerial Code to make clear that current Ministers will be required to cooperate fully in any such investigation. It will remain the case that, as now,the final decision will rest with me on whether or not a Minister’s behaviour has fallen below acceptable standards.
We also need to consider the position of former Ministers in relation to any formal complaints against them from staff that relate to the period in which the former Minister was in office. In the event of such a complaint, I believe that,again, it would appropriate for the Permanent Secretary to take the matter up directly with the former Minister so that they have the opportunity to respond. As the provisions of the Ministerial Code do not apply to former Ministers, the report of the investigation would be provided to both the former Minister and the current leader of their political party (if any) to consider. I would therefore only be involved in complaints about a former SNP Minister. I would have no involvement in complaints against a former Minister of another party.
Given your position as a former First Minister,I wanted you to be aware of this approach. I hope you will agree that it should help provide additional assurance to staff that any complaints they raise will be fully investigated, no matter when the alleged concerns occurred.
I intend to write to all former Ministers who have served in my Administration to make them aware of these arrangements. Similarly, you may wish to consider making Ministers who served in your Administration aware of them too. If you,or they,would find it helpful,the Permanent Secretary will be happy to discuss how these new approaches would work in practice.
Late December 2017: A police team met with Scottish Government officials to discuss proposed amendments to the existing harassment and misconduct policies for Government officials currently in employment and to give advice on the proposed “retrospective” follow up of allegations of former Ministers. The draft letter was withdrawn following the meeting on the advice of the police. Alex Salmond was never provided with a copy of the letter and he was the only former Minister (from a very large group of former Ministers) ever subjected to an illegal Civil Service investigation of his conduct whilst in office. And there is supporting evidence that there were a great many unresolved allegations in the pipeline if the draft letter had been sent. The task would have been impossible for Evans and her team to undertake and the fact that Sturgeon went ahead with an investigation of Alex only provides confirmation they were out to get him!!!! And who were they?
3 thoughts on “Team Sturgeon was determined to get Alex Salmond and they very nearly succeeded”
Correct me if I’m wrong but I’m sure Westminster advised against the move but they went ahead with it anyway.
What a nasty piece of work!
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you are correct. They knew that what they were doing was illegal but pressed on regardless. A tough choice was made by Evans who claimed it was her decision to push on with introducing the retrospective element of harassment policy, which would establish employment law precedence. Coupled with this is another precedence. The Civil Service conducting an investigation
of a politician and one no longer in the employ of the Governmet. One word fits. Anarchy!!!!
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I always believed that she was in on it and that the motive was to further stall the independence cause. Eck was a rallying point for independence, which she never was (quite the opposite as in nearly 9 years as FM the independence cause has moved forward not one inch, quite the opposite in fact) and that if he returned to front line politics the cause would get a huge boost which she was against (being a trougher and closet Unionist), so they used the well tried Establishment tactic of a sex scandal to try to ruin Eck but if failed spectacularly. I think all of the conspirators should be held to account,
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