Nicola Sturgeon should not resign says Jeane Freeman
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On Thursday evening, reports leaked from Holyrood’s Handling of Harassment Complaints Committee said the SNP leader “misled” parliament in her written evidence to the inquiry, with MSPs voting 5-4 against Nicola Sturgeon. The key ruling was leaked late on Thursday, with the official report not published until next Tuesday. The cross-party committee, which includes four SNP MSPs, two Conservatives, one Labour, one Liberal Democrat and independent, Andy Wightman, voted that SNP leader Ms Sturgeon gave an “inaccurate” account of a meeting with her predecessor during the live investigation.
The committee did not say Ms Sturgeon “knowingly” broke the code, for which ministers are expected to then resign.
But the decision will likely pile the pressure on Scotland’s First Minister to resign just six weeks before the crucial Scottish elections.
Now in the latest Express.co.uk poll, more than 16,000 readers have said Ms Sturgeon should stand down from her prime position in Scotland.
The poll, which ran from 8.30am until 9.30pm on Friday March 19, asked: “Should Nicola Sturgeon resign after ‘misleading parliament’ in Alex Salmond case?”
A huge 98 percent (16,210 readers) said the First Minister must resign after ‘misleading parliament’ in the case of her predecessor.
The remaining two percent (365 readers) disagreed, while less than one percent (30 readers) were undecided.
In reaction to the original poll story, one furious Express.co.uk reader wrote: “She can not be trusted. She needs to resign or be kicked out.”
A second person commented: “Sturgeon should be sacked with immediate effect.”
Another reader said: “NO she should not resign. She should be KICKED OUT.”
A fourth Express.co.uk reader added: “She is not fit and proper to hold high office.”
Ms Sturgeon, who has so far stood strong against intense pressure and refused to resign, stands by all of the evidence she gave to the committee earlier this month.
She told Sky News: “What has been clear is that opposition members of this committee made their minds up before I uttered a single word of evidence.
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“Their public comments have made that clear.
“So this very partisan leak tonight before they’ve actually finalised the report is not that surprising.
“Let’s wait and see the final report, but more importantly the question of whether or not I breached the ministerial code is being considered independently by James Hamilton and I hope and expect he will publish that report soon.”
Sky News reported the Holyrood committee said they found contradictions in the evidence from the First Minister over a meeting with Mr Salmond in April 2018.
Members of the committee said Ms Sturgeon misled the committee itself and therefore misled parliament and potentially breached the ministerial code of conduct.
A Scottish Parliament spokesman said the committee was still finalising its report, and it would not make any comment until it was published.
Mr Hamilton, a senior Irish lawyer who advises the first minister on code of conduct, is also carrying out a separate investigation into whether Ms Sturgeon breached the ministerial code.
He is expected to publish a report in the coming days but if he concludes Ms Sturgeon broke the rules, he has the power to recommend sanctions.
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