SNP MP calls for resignations after Salmond acquittal

SNP MP calls for resignations after Salmond acquittal

SNP MP Kenny MacAskill has called for resignations in the party in the wake of the acquittal of former leader Alex Salmond.

Mr Salmond was cleared of 13 charges, including attempted rape and sexual assault, at the High Court in Edinburgh on Monday.

Writing in The Scotsman, the former MSP – who served as justice secretary under Mr Salmond when he was first minister – said “a reckoning there must be”.

Mr MacAskill said some officials should go quietly during the coronavirus pandemic (David Cheskin/PA)
Mr MacAskill said some officials should go quietly during the coronavirus pandemic (David Cheskin/PA)

The MP also claimed the trial, in which Mr Salmond faced accusations from nine women, was a “bump in the road” that the independence movement would be able to survive.

Mr MacAskill wrote: “There do need to be resignations within the SNP. A few have acted despicably and many of us feel a breach of trust.

“To whom do these individuals work and for what purpose are they acting?

“They cannot remain and a few others now face question marks over why they are in the positions they hold, as it certainly hasn’t been on ability.”

The East Lothian MP also said the resignations should take place “quietly under the cover of coronavirus”.

Other officials, Mr MacAskill said, should be held to account after the pandemic has passed for the costs of the criminal investigation and trial of Mr Salmond, which he predicts will be a “small fraction” of the £500,000 of public funds spent on the earlier civil case.

Mr MacAskill added: “As for the independence cause, those who predict its demise can dream on.

“It’s bigger than any individual and can survive another bump in the road.”

Meanwhile, MSP Alex Neil said he would welcome the return of the former party leader to Holyrood if he decided to stand again in next year’s election.

Speaking to the Daily Record, Mr Neil described Mr Salmond as a “political heavyweight”, claiming he would improve Holyrood’s reputation.

He said: “I do not see why Alex should not be back in the party. He was acquitted of all charges. The SNP cannot ignore someone of his talents and achievements.

“I would be happy for Alex to be back at Holyrood.

“He nearly led Scotland to independence. He would absolutely enhance the reputation of the Parliament. He’s a heavyweight.”

Following his acquittal on Monday, MP Joanna Cherry said in a statement that Mr Salmond should be readmitted into the party he left after the allegations were made in 2018 “without delay”.

More on this topic

80 migrants attempted to cross the Chanel into UK this weekend 80 migrants attempted to cross the Chanel into UK this weekend

British Labour leader Keir Starmer to create ‘balanced’ shadow cabinetBritish Labour leader Keir Starmer to create ‘balanced’ shadow cabinet

Jeremy Corbyn says he has left Labour in position to win at next electionJeremy Corbyn says he has left Labour in position to win at next election

Dramatic footage shows UK police officers using belts to rescue man from 50ft cliffDramatic footage shows UK police officers using belts to rescue man from 50ft cliff

More in this Section

Boris Johnson spends night in hospital as he battles coronavirusBoris Johnson spends night in hospital as he battles coronavirus

New York coronavirus deaths climb as Trump sees ‘light at end of tunnel’New York coronavirus deaths climb as Trump sees ‘light at end of tunnel’

Three deaths from cruise ship docked in MiamiThree deaths from cruise ship docked in Miami

How atomic bombs made it possible for scientists to carbon date whale sharksHow atomic bombs made it possible for scientists to carbon date whale sharks


Lifestyle

Easy and cost-effective ways you can spruce up your home. By Carol O’CallaghanStaying in is the new going out: Easy and cost-effective ways to spruce up your home

Need a funny, hopeful read? Hannah Stephenson rounds up the best.10 uplifting books to cheer you up on dark days

Esther N McCarthy put the call out to Irish crafters and grafters this week. Let's support our local makers, all of these are available onlineWish List: Supporting Irish crafters selling online

Shane Johnson takes a look (and listen) at two recent electronic full-lengths.Album reviews: Wajatta and Takeleave provide beats and pieces

More From The Irish Examiner