The First Minister gave her opening address to MSPs in the Scottish Parliament, where she raised a number of issues of which she has been charged

During her opening speech, she accused Alex Salmond of “deeply inappropriate behavior” towards one of the women who made allegations against the former SNP leader

Salmond took the government to justice and it was agreed that the internal investigation was unlawful and tainted with obvious prejudice It cost the taxpayer more than 500000 pounds

Sturgeon’s evidence comes after the Scottish Tories accused them of breaking the Ministerial Code more than 30 times for handling complaints

She said she talked to him about it, adding, “That and the way I was approached only added to a feeling of discomfort that he called or those phone calls whether they were from him or her came from his lawyer had touched something. Poked into a hornet’s nest

“I had no knowledge of certain ailments, it wasn’t something I thought about every day, it wasn’t something I lay awake and thought about at night. But I had a persistent suspicion that something was in the ether, in the undergrowth , could appear “

The First Minister added, “This stuff is very personal to me and I have a hard time talking about it

“Sometimes when I looked like I was caged, that’s one of the reasons”

She said, “I feel really uncomfortable talking about it We are talking about serious allegations that have broken down a relationship with someone who was really important to me on all possible levels. I feel uncomfortable talking about it on a human level “

Nicola Sturgeon said a request from Sky News in connection with her interview with Geoff Aberdein “made her aware that there is a problem with concerns about Alex Salmond”

But she said it wasn’t until she April read the Permanent Secretary’s letter, she knew “beyond a doubt”

Then she said that “any general concern or suspicion I might have had was actually detailed and actually disclosed, that there were two complaints, they were from officials, they were investigated through this process, and what kind of complaints there were”this complaint was”

She added, “Before Jan. April I had the awareness that there was a complaint, no doubt I suspected what that might look like, but that was it, a general awareness, a suspicion that no I doubt I had all sorts of theories in my head

“But it was reading the Permanent Secretary’s letter that he sent me on Jan. April showed who gave me the knowledge and details behind that knowledge “

NEW: Alex Salmond has filed a formal complaint with the Permanent Secretary about an official who allegedly disclosed the “name of a complainant in the Scottish Government trial”

Nicola Sturgeon told MSPs that she did not want to “get” Alex Salmond when the Scottish government first opened an investigation into his behavior

She insisted that her predecessor as the SNP leader was “one of the closest people to me in my whole life” and that “if I could turn back the clock and find legitimate ways, none of this would ever have happened, then me”would”

The First Minister gives evidence to a Holyrood committee today how ministers and officials in Holyrood managed to botch an internal grievance process – a mistake that cost taxpayers more than 500It cost £ 000

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon denies she was trying to “get” Alex Salmond with Scottish Government investigation

The First Minister said she had been made aware that on Jan. August a request took place

The Labor MSP replied, “I understood that there were two stories – one on Jan. and one on 25, which gave details of complainants. The first talked about complaints, the second went into details

“Where do you think the leaks came from? Mr. Salmond believed there was someone on your team. Where do you think the leaks came from?”

She added, “I can tell you it was not mine or someone who responded to my instruction or request

“I’m sure it didn’t come from my office. The second story had some sizeable details. I heard Alex say details could only have come from the decision report – I was never sent a copy of that report”

Nicola Sturgeon was asked about the allegation that a senior member of her team gave the name of one of the complainants to Geoff Aberdein, who had previously been Salmond’s chief of staff

Labour’s Jackie Bailie urged the First Secretary on the matter, saying in an “exceptional breach of confidentiality,” but yours had passed the details on to Mr Salmond

Baillie said it would be a “discharged offense” in any other position as she wanted to know if the First Minister or the Permanent Secretary had approved it

But Sturgeon said, “I do not accept that this happened, so I clearly do not accept that this was authorized”

She added: “Surely Alex Salmond was pretty clear about one of the complainants that he had found who it was through investigations into Scottish Government social media accounts

“And as for the other, and this is the piece I may be speculating about, it must have been the case when he received this letter because he knew about the incident, because he was on the person had apologized

“So I assume that he would have known that without anyone having to tell him. And I know from what he told me that he found the other person’s identity through his own investigations”

Nicola Sturgeon said Alex Salmond conducted his own investigation to find out the identity of one of the two alleged applicants against him

The Prime Minister told the committee investigating the Scottish government’s botched handling of harassment allegations against its predecessor: “Alex Salmond was open to the identity of a complainant because he knew it

“He knew of the identity of a complainant because he knew about the incident because he apologized to the person concerned

“I do not remember whether the name of the other complainant on 2 April was openly shared (a meeting between Mrs Sturgeon and Mr Salmond at their Glasgow home in 2018)

“He also knew the identity of this complainant because I remember talking about looking through the Scottish Government’s Flickr account (image sharing website) to find out who on certain days had been with him

“He knew the identity of both complainants, firstly because he knew about the incident and secondly through his own investigations”

Stuart McMillan said it would help correct the complaint handling process, saying “Clear mistakes have been made in the division of responsibilities between those in charge of this role and those in charge of investigating complaints.” p>

“Do you accept this went wrong and what can be done to avoid this in the future?”

She added, “We are looking into these issues right now. This will be an opportunity for us to reflect on why these things happened and what needs to be done to ensure that such a situation does not happen in the future”

She further stated: “The process itself has not been declared illegal and could be used

“What went wrong here was when complaints needed to be investigated and a mistake was made because the investigator (Judith Mackinnon) had prior contact with those who were making complaints

“This is how the bug was identified, not in the fundamentals of the procedure

“I had no motive, intention, or desire to” get “Alex Salmond,” says Sturgeon, repeating that Salmond was previously one of the people closest to her

She said, “Our evidence shows that complaints were sometimes handled informally prior to the procedure. Do you think this was a satisfactory way to deal with complaints or concerns?”

Sturgeon replied, “Sometimes this is a satisfactory way as it is satisfactory to the person complaining They prefer to deal with it informally”So I would not say that it is never appropriate for this to be the approach that is taken”

“The second point stems from Margaret Mitchell’s question to me that unions had concerns about a number of ministerial positions

“At the time as Deputy First Minister who played a role in fairness at work, that never crossed my mind

“So that raises a question on my mind, to use Margaret’s terminology, is the bar too high or over-reliant on informal resolution, and it does – and I am asking this as a question – is there.” or was there an excess of informal procedures so that certain things that should perhaps be formalized and dealt with in a different way were not in place?

“I think this is a legitimate question to be asked of the government and certainly a legitimate question to be asked of us”

Nicola Sturgeon said prior to a media investigation by Sky News in November 2017 that she was “aware of allegations or concerns about sexually inappropriate behavior by Alex Salmond”

The First Minister further suggested that Mr Salmond, who testified for several hours before the committee on Friday, appeared to believe that it should have been impossible to investigate complaints against him

She said, “When I heard Alex’s evidence on Friday and I may be unfair to him here, he seemed to be saying he didn’t think there should be a trial to investigate him because he didn’t believe that it should have been, or if it had been about investigating historical allegations, it should have taken about 18 months to get implemented

“That is what impressed me about this evidence section, that his view was not only that the complaints against him were not to be investigated, but that it should have been impossible to investigate because there was no process for it should give it allowed to happen

Nicola Sturgeon has accused Alex Salmond of “deeply inappropriate behavior” towards one of the women who made allegations against the former SNP leader

The Prime Minister gives evidence to a Holyrood Committee today of how the Scottish Government managed to botch its own internal complaints process – a mistake that has made taxpayers more than 500It cost £ 000

Two women filed complaints against Salmond in 2018 due to his time in Scottish politics, and the government opened an investigation

Salmond denied the allegations, insisting that the appeals process against him was biased – a lawsuit that was upheld in civil courts in January 2019

Sturgeon said she was frustrated that she had not previously been able to address allegations about her directly

She told the committee, “I’ve waited a long time to sit here myself while allegations and allegations swirled around me without my being able to address them”

“And when information that has been alleged was ‘devastating’ to the government’s position and proved that all sorts of things have come to light it has proven nothing of the kind

“And so there was probably frustration on my part where information is not known to the committee Often what is proposed about it has very little relation to reality

“While the government made mistakes here the government doesn’t have to hide anything”

Nicola Sturgeon denied allegations made by Vice-Convening Committee Margaret Mitchell that the government had “faced delay, obstruction and obfuscation” in seeking evidence, and said some documents were pending

“The government has provided significant amounts of written and oral evidence. I do not know what you are referring to (which) we believe you have not provided”

She added: “The government has no intention of withholding relevant information from this committee”

Nicola Sturgeon related how Mr Salmond had given her a letter he had received from Secretary of State Leslie Evans to read

“This letter set out the fact that two people had lodged sexual harassment complaints against him,” she said

She added that the letter clarified that these complaints were being investigated as part of the procedures adopted by the Scottish Government in 2017 and that “it set out the details of what he allegedly did”

Stör said: “Reading this letter is a moment in my life that I will never forget”

She said that while Mr Salmond denied the allegations, he gave her a report on one of the incidents “for which he apologized at the time”

Ms. Sturgeon added, “What he was describing was, in my opinion, deeply inappropriate behavior on his part, perhaps another reason why this moment is so ingrained in my head”

She added that she had a previous conversation with Mr Aberdein on Jan. March “did not attach the same importance”

“The purpose of the conversation seemed to be to persuade me to meet with Alex as soon as possible, which I agreed to,” she said

“Geoff indicated that there was a problem with harassment, but I remember doing this generally”

Sturgeon said that when she was informed about the events of the Jan. March would have been informed, “my actions would not necessarily have been different”

She said, “Given what I was told about the hardship Alex was in, and how it was suggested that he might intend to sort matters out, I would probably still have agreed to meet him – than his”Friend and as his party leader

“When I decided to hold the meeting on the 2nd Not to record April immediately, it was not about the classification I gave him, but that it was more of a party than a government meeting, but rather that I did not want to jeopardize the independence of the government and the confidentiality of the ongoing process “

Nicola Sturgeon began her evidence before the Scottish Government Harassment Complaints Committee with an endorsement to tell the truth

She accepted that a “very grave mistake” had been made in investigating the complaints against Mr. Salmond

As a result, she said, “Two women have failed and taxpayers’ money has been lost I deeply regret this “

The First Minister said: “Although I was not aware of the mistake at the time as Head of the Scottish Government, I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to the two women involved and to the general public”

The First Minister said Alex Salmond had told her that his behavior was not always appropriate

Nicola Sturgeon said, “I know exactly from what he told me that his behavior was not always appropriate”

During her opening speech, the First Minister said: “I have to refute the absurd suggestion that anyone who acts in malice or that was part of a conspiracy against Alex Salmond”

Sturgeon also apologized to the general public for what they termed a “grave mistake” in handling their complaints against Alex Salmond

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Source: https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/nicola-sturgeons-alex-salmond-inquiry-23596514