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The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
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Break-up: how Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon went to war

breakupsalmondandsturgeon

Break-up: how Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon went to war, by David Clegg and Kieran Andrews, hardback, 339 pages, ISBN 978-1-785-90706-7, Biteback, 2021, £20. 

This is an absolutely fascinating account of Alex Salmond's appalling behaviour towards many of his female colleagues, and of the SNP's failure to deal fairly with the women's complaints.

Salmond responded by mounting a campaign casting himself as the victim. He accused the women of 'collusion' and 'conspiracy' against him. He and his supportive bloggers cast the women as the villains.

The Sturgeon administration had to admit that its investigation into the sexual harassment claims against Salmond was 'tainted by apparent bias'. In January 2019 the Court of Session ruled that the actions of the officials investigating the harassment complaints were 'unlawful in respect that they were procedurally unfair'.

The SNP administration ignored two votes by MSPs demanding that the legal advice from the judicial review be released to the Holyrood inquiry. It "followed an unlawful process and referred complaints to prosecutors against the express wishes of the women involved." The Holyrood inquiry into Ms Sturgeon's conduct found that she had misled Holyrood.

The Scottish Parliament Committee, chaired by the SNP's Linda Fabiani, published "information it knew could illegally breach the anonymity afforded a complainer in a sexual assault trial …" The Committee then started to investigate Salmond's theory that there was a conspiracy against him. As the authors note, "An inevitable result of the committee's decision to pursue this line of inquiry was that doubts would be cast on the characters of the women who had made complaints against Salmond. All the women were already being fiercely demonised on the internet …"

All the participants emerge with stains on their reputations. Holyrood often pats itself on the back when looking at goings-on in Westminster, but this whole ugly fiasco discredits all those involved, especially the two leading figures in the campaign for Scottish separation. 

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