Douglas Ross warned the Scottish Tories would push ahead with its no-confidence vote after a leak revealed the committee investigating Nicola Sturgeon’s ministerial code breach found she had misled parliament. But despite an independent report finding Nicola Sturgeon did not breach the code, Mr Ross said it was down to MSPs to determine whether they were misled or not. Mr Ross was grilled by BBC Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis and told her that independent advisor James Hamilton is well aware different conclusions can be found by looking at the same evidence.
Appearing on BBC’s Newsnight, the programme presenter spoke about the independent findings from barrister James Hamilton on Nicola Sturgeon’s conduct during the Alex Salmond inquiry.
Mr Ross doubled down and said the Holyrood committee found Sturgeon did breach the ministerial code after the vote was leaked before the official publication.
He argued that despite what Mr Hamiton found, the First Minister should resign.
Ms Maitlis then asked Mr Ross: “You know very well that the Scottish Parliament will divide down party lines.
“And that last week, there was already a leak that came out before MSPs had even finished the vote so no wonder she [Sturgeon] is suspicious of it being an even-handed report.
“Are you saying that you don’t have confidence in James Hamilton, do you trust what he’s done?”
Mr Ross replied: “We’ll just go back to the point about the committee, in terms of party lines it is a committee with a pro-independence majority.
“And the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats understood it voted for that key line on whether Nicola Sturgeon misled Parliament – so did an independent MSP.”
“There has been a lack of truthfulness from the First Minister and the Scottish government.”
Mr Ross added that the Holyrood committee findings still found Nicola Sturgeon to be in breach of the ministerial code and therefore the Scottish Tories would push ahead with its no-confidence vote.
James Hamilton is an independent advisor to the Scottish government who monitors the ministerial code and any potential breaches.
Nicola Sturgeon rejected the committee findings and stated their “minds were already made up” before she entered the chamber.
Ms Sturgeon awaited Mr Hamilton’s findings before deciding her next moves and was found not in breach of the ministerial code.
The code states that anyone who knowingly misleads Parliament must resign.