Sturgeon Faces Opposition Call to Quit Over Salmond Inquiry

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon faced a call to resign over the handling of harassment allegations against her predecessor as the opposition Conservatives said they would seek a no-confidence vote.

The Scottish wing of U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s party said in a statement on Tuesday it will submit the motion after the government in Edinburgh published details of legal advice during its investigation of the claims against former First Minister Alex Salmond and additional witnesses backed up his version of events.

Sturgeon, who denies she broke the ministerial code, is due to give evidence to a parliamentary inquiry on Wednesday.

For any vote to succeed, it needs all opposition members of parliament to agree. Her Scottish National Party has 61 of the legislature’s 129 seats and is normally supported by the Green Party. The Greens said it was up to the inquiry to do its job first.

A spokesperson for Sturgeon called the Conservative move “utterly irresponsible” given the pandemic and before having heard her evidence. The first minister will address all the issues “and much more besides” when she appears at the committee hearing, according to a statement.

Salmond was acquitted in 2020 of multiple counts of sexual assault against women while was in office. He claims he’s the victim of collusion that ran all the way to the top of Scotland’s government.

The political feud has escalated ahead of May elections in Scotland. Sturgeon is seeking a victory that will reinforce her push for another independence referendum. Opinion polls suggest the SNP is on course for a majority of seats in the Scottish Parliament.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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