No confidence vote in Nicola Sturgeon to be submitted after Alex Salmond case legal advice published

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is facing calls to resign amidst fresh claims that she lied to parliament.

It follows the Scottish government’s publication of legal advice surrounding a court challenge by Alex Salmond in 2018.

It shows that legal counsel warned the Scottish government of a “very real problem” more than two months before they were forced to concede in court.

Mr Salmond has accused Ms Sturgeon of breaching the ministerial code by not halting her government’s legal challenge and costing the taxpayer more than £600,000 in legal costs.

Leader of the Scottish Conservatives Douglas Ross said his party would be submitting a vote of no confidence in Ms Sturgeon.

He said: “There is no longer any doubt that Nicola Sturgeon lied to the Scottish Parliament and broke the Ministerial Code on numerous counts.

“No first minister can be allowed to mislead the Scottish people and continue in office, especially when they have tried to cover up the truth and abused the power of their office in the process.

“The weight of the evidence is overwhelming. Nicola Sturgeon must resign.”

However, John Swinney MSP, Scotland’s deputy first minister, refuted claims that the government’s legal advice had been wholly predictable of defeat in court.

He said: “These documents are clear. Our legal advice was optimistic about the government’s prospects for success at the start. It became gradually but progressively less optimistic over time.

“It was only in December that the advice concluded that our case was no longer stateable and we should concede. Indeed, as late as 11 December, Ministers were advised that we should continue.

“Within a matter of days of being advised that the case was no stateable, we have taken the decision to concede. That was right and proper.

“Significantly, however, this comprehensively disproves claims that we had continued the case in defiance of legal advice. That is categorically untrue and these documents put that beyond doubt.”

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