The 25 questions over the SNP’s Murdoch links

Left Foot Forward has obtained a copy of the 25 questions Scottish Labour has for Alex Salmond and the SNP over their links to News International and Rupert Murdoch.

As MPs today prepare to flex their muscles in the age old “tension” between politics and the media, Left Foot Forward has obtained a copy of the 25 questions Scottish Labour has for Alex Salmond and the SNP over their links to News International and Rupert Murdoch, as reported on Left Foot Forward.

Following the SNP’s failure to answer the questions asked, Scottish Labour’s business manager Paul Martin argued:

“A suspicious number of unanswered questions remain over the SNP’s links with News International.

“If the SNP have nothing to hide then why don’t they come clean and provide answers to each one of Labour’s 25 straightforward questions? If they continue to duck, dive and dodge these simple questions, it will only fuel further suspicions over Alex Salmond’s closeness to Rupert Murdoch’s media empire.

“Alex Salmond would clearly rather Scots erased from memory the fact that he personally met with James Murdoch, wined and dined the editor of the Scottish News of the World and provided free articles and advertising to News International newspapers worth thousands of pounds, but the public deserve to know the truth.

“No matter how uncomfortable the truth may be, it is time for answers from the SNP.”

The questions Labour have asked of the SNP are:

1). On what date did Alex Salmond meet with James Murdoch and what matters were discussed?

2). Who instigated the meeting between Alex Salmond and James Murdoch?

3). How many times has Alex Salmond spoken with and met with James Murdoch or other senior News International figures in the last four years?

4). When did Alex Salmond last speak to James Murdoch?

5). When does Alex Salmond next plan to speak to James Murdoch?

6). Other than Alex Salmond, have any other SNP ministers met with senior News International figures? If so, when and what was discussed?

7). Have any civil servants or taxpayer funded advisers met with News International on behalf of the Scottish government? If so, who, when and what matters were discussed?

8). In the interests of public confidence can the Scottish government assure the public that it has carried out an internal review to ensure none of its staff have been involved in phone hacking at any point?

9). What is the SNP’s position on a separate media regulator for Scotland?

10). How much public money have been spent facilitating meetings between Scottish government ministers and News international, such as the dinner Alex Salmond hosted at Bute House with the Scottish editor of the News of the World in March 2009 or the exclusive News International business breakfast in April of this year?

11). How much have the SNP spent on advertising with News International publications in each of the last four years?

12). How much public money have the SNP spent on advertising with News International publications in each of the last four years via the Scottish government? 

13). How many free articles, such as Joan McAlpine’s interview with Sean Connery in the Bahamas, have the SNP provided to News International publications in each of the last four years?   

14). Why did it take four full days and for the News of the World to close down before Alex Salmond (not through a spokesperson) made any official public statement on the phone hacking scandal? (Milly Dowler revelations broke on 4 July yet Alex Salmond did not speak on the issue until 8 July).    

15). Why has Alex Salmond still not respond to Ann McKechin’s [shadow Scottish secretary] letter dated 8 July 2011 to all Scottish political party leaders calling for further action on phone hacking?

(The letter included calls for: assurance that the public inquiries announced by the prime minister are properly resourced, able to take evidence under oath and will start their work immediately; the scrapping and replacement of the Press Complaints Commission and a call to the industry to come up with better self-regulation; suspension of the decision by the Government on the BSkyB deal and referral to the Competition Commission and the removal of Rebekah Brooks as CEO of News International with immediate effect).

16). Given Alex Salmond’s attacks on “successive Westminster governments” for failing to properly regulate the press on how many occasions in each of his four years as First Minister has he raised this with the UK government?

17). What dialogue has the Scottish government had so far with the UK government regarding the inquiry announced by the prime minister into the broader conduct of the press?

18). What dialogue has the Scottish government had with the relevant authorities as to how many Scots have had their phones hacked?

19). Why did Alex Salmond at no point support Ed Miliband’s calls for Rebekah Brooks to resign?

20). Why did Alex Salmond at no point speak out on the BSkyB deal?

21). How many t-shirts depicting The Sun’s front page from the 5 May 2011 has the SNP sold from its online shop?

22). Why did SNP MPs contribute only two sentences in last week’s emergency debate on phone hacking?

23). What contact have SNP MPs had with senior News International figures?

24). Is Alex Salmond worried that he has had his phone hacked?

25). What motivated the SNP to share an office building with News International in Edinburgh?

When the SNP provide answers to these questions, Left Foot Forward will publish them.

49 Responses to “The 25 questions over the SNP’s Murdoch links”

  1. Derek Bryant

    The 25 questions over the SNP's Murdoch links: //bit.ly/qAcZFc by @EdJacobs1985 #hacking #NewsCorpse

  2. Alan Marshall

    RT @leftfootfwd: The 25 questions over the SNP's Murdoch links: //bit.ly/qAcZFc by @EdJacobs1985 #hacking #NewsCorpse

  3. Shamik Das

    More #hackgate questions: RT @leftfootfwd: The 25 questions over the SNP's #Murdoch links: //bit.ly/qAcZFc by @EdJacobs1985 #NewsCorpse

  4. Kristian Chapman

    RT @leftfootfwd: The 25 questions over the SNP's Murdoch links: //bit.ly/qAcZFc by @EdJacobs1985 #hacking #NewsCorpse

  5. Ed Jacobs

    RT @leftfootfwd: The 25 questions over the SNP's Murdoch links //t.co/0hgLwIF

  6. Graham Bates

    “@leftfootfwd: The 25 questions over the SNP's Murdoch links: //t.co/Tkhoxiz by @EdJacobs1985 #hacking #NewsCorpse” pot calling kettle

  7. Matthew Little

    Time for Alex Salmond to face up to his News International connections. Go on Alex, I dare ya. //bit.ly/pCrO7R

  8. MJL

    Typical SNP cynicalhighlander. Blame everyone but yourself. The SNP are the only party still in bed with Murdoch. Even the Tories have dumped him. Time for Salmond to fess up.

  9. cynicalHighlander

    #MJL I have just heard that Rupert Murdoch entered No 10 by the back door on numerous occasions to visit Gordon Brown the past PM, remember him!

  10. AncientHabbie

    Just because Labour are up to their oaxters in multiple long term realtionships with the evil Empire and are being slated for it (a la Douglas Alexander, Ed Balls and Ed Milliband downing oysters and quaffing champagne at News Int’s summer party a few week’s ago being the latest dance with the devil) they are trying to drag the SNP into the mire with them. Yes, Salmond courted News International and probably they courted him too. So what? It is no more than Blair, Campbell, Brown, Straw, both Millibands, Balls etc have done over the last 14 years. Ed Milliband even has an ex- News International guy as his key adviser. How does anyone know that he wasn’t hacking voicemail’s? Well, do you? Labour were gubbed at the Scottish Elections and their strategy to win back the confidence of the Scottish electorate is to smear the SNP and start scare stories. Funny, that’s the same strategy that has been adopted since 2006 and you know what….it doesn’t work. Labour in Scotland; no new ideas, no new policies, no positive outlook – only constant negativity. As Wendy Alexander said in 2006, “Scottish Labour hadn’t contributed a single original idea to the wider Labour movement in 100 years.” Nothing changed there then.

  11. Don Mc

    This really is pathetic. Labour are really mired in this scandal but instead of putting their hands up, they desperately try to bring everyone down to their level.

    I don’t think the public will be fooled and Labour will suffer at the next elections.

  12. PMK

    What absolute crap … did the Liebour Party have a 5 year old write their questions?

    What about the last 15 years of Labour in bed with the Murdochs? Lying Ed is fooling no-one, wait to the Baldwin material hits the fan.

  13. Ed's Talking Balls

    So is the official Labour strategy now simply to chuck as much mud at all other UK political parties, in the hope that enough will stick so as to deflect attention from their own close, long-term relationship with News International?

  14. Robert

    Yes same as Brown and his stories, but the fact is he kissed more Murdock ass then anyone else. But of course what annoys labour is they are not in power in Scotland otherwise it would be a Labour leader in the picture, talk about two faced

  15. Jock MacSporran

    Have Labour got nothing better to do than make up “pop quizzes” trying to smear the SNP with the s*** they themselves wallowed in for 13 years? Everybody heard Murdoch today saying how much he wanted to kiss and make up with Gordon Brown. Maybe Labour should try “Labour’s Top 25 SNP Smears For People Who Can’t Face The Fact That They Lost”? Don’t laugh. It’s got about as much credibility as the twaddle Labour are pumping out!

  16. Jock MacSporran

    Surprised Iain Gray missed out on a perfect PR opportunity at today’s Murdoch circus. He could have upstaged the “pie guy” by riding a Unicycle into the room, hooting a party blower and holding up a big board with the words: “It Was Alex Wot Done It!” scrawled on it. Surely that sort of measured political discourse would win him more voters than his current ploy of making up a list of pathetic smears masquerading as “unanswered questions”? It’s not what you say, but HOW you say it!

  17. Kinghob

    Why would the Scottish Government pay any attention to the labour party, up to their nads in the hacking scandal and who must have co wrote articles against the SNP with the daily record, the Scotsman and occasionally the herald?

    The doing that the Scottish electorate have given to the unionist parties as a whole in the elections has hurt them politically and yet we are splinted this absolute botter drivel when the real question is who are labour to ask any questions and act holier than though when they were the darlings of news international when Blair enjoyed their support, and attended birthday parties with the news international clowns only a few weeks ago?

    Your so called “left” leaning blog is going to wait a long time to associate the SNP with NI when labour are so cosy with them and don’t we all know it and yet it has not been touched upon-but it will be, the duplicity of the labour mob is so obvious they must think the Scottish public are daft……not daft enough to vote for labour though!

  18. InternationalUNCUT

    The 25 questions over the SNP's Murdoch links | Left Foot Forward //fb.me/1b6D5eR4e

  19. John Ruddy

    I see the usual cybernat suspects are out and about.

    Regardless of Labours past association with Murdoch, it has at last repudiated him. I can not see NI backing Labour ever again after some of the things that have been said by Ed Miliband and other leading Labour politicians.

    Ales Salmond has so far said nothing. Its valid to ask why.

  20. AncientHabbie

    No.12 – I resent your comment that I’m a ‘cybernat usual suspect’. I’ve never posted a comment on this site before and it is 4 years since I’ve posted anywhere else. Salmond has spoken out against phone hacking and the Nats were co-signatories of the Westminster motion calling for Brooks to resign. Get your facts right and stop spreading misinformation.

  21. Ed's Talking Balls

    Yep, I’m not a cybernat either. I’m not even Scottish.

    I just can’t abide this ridiculous hypocrisy from Labour, whereby it is apparently acceptable to point out the motes in other political parties’ eyes while ignoring the beam in its own. We can only hope that the glass house whence the stones came will soon suffer a bit of damage of its own.

  22. Bill Chapman

    Alex Salmond really needs to consider his position. It’s time for him to go.

  23. Snapdragon

    The 25 questions over the SNP's links to Rupert Murdoch: //t.co/4m6ceXy9 #bbcqt #Leveson

  24. Catherine Sharpe

    The 25 questions over the SNP's links to Rupert Murdoch: //t.co/4m6ceXy9 #bbcqt #Leveson

  25. Maryann O'Connor

    The 25 questions over the SNP's links to Rupert Murdoch: //t.co/4m6ceXy9 #bbcqt #Leveson

  26. Martin McQuillan

    The 25 questions over the SNP's links to Rupert Murdoch: //t.co/4m6ceXy9 #bbcqt #Leveson

  27. Helen Goodman

    The 25 questions over the SNP's links to Rupert Murdoch: //t.co/4m6ceXy9 #bbcqt #Leveson

  28. Pam

    RT @leftfootfwd: The 25 questions over the SNP's Murdoch links //t.co/Ll7DJJau

  29. Legal Aware

    RT @Earwiggle:
    RT @leftfootfwd: The 25 questions over the SNP's Murdoch links //t.co/eU3NejmU

  30. Martin Paul Hume

    RT @leftfootfwd: The 25 questions over the SNP's Murdoch links //t.co/Ll7DJJau

  31. Lynn Sheridan

    The 25 questions over the SNP's links to Rupert Murdoch: //t.co/4m6ceXy9 #bbcqt #Leveson

  32. top_tw_books

    The 25 questions over the SNP's links to Rupert Murdoch: //t.co/4m6ceXy9 #bbcqt #Leveson

  33. Francis Fallan

    Can i offer my full support to the questions being asked by “Left Foot Forward” and please dont give up repeating these to get an answer and if some answer is forthcoming ensure it is properly investigated, time and time again over so many years SNP elected representatives have spun so many distruths, and now even becoming a part of rouge outfit such as Murdoch and News International, without doubt there has to be some form of illegality at hand and to be sure Alex Salmon will be at the centre of it

  34. Bristol NUJ

    The 25 questions over the SNP's links to Rupert Murdoch: //t.co/4m6ceXy9 #bbcqt #Leveson

  35. The Grim Reaper

    Don't let Salmond get away scott-free over Murdoch – it's not just a two-party problem. //t.co/1eRVZzeC #PMQs

  36. Hannah Kerr

    Don't let Salmond get away scott-free over Murdoch – it's not just a two-party problem. //t.co/1eRVZzeC #PMQs

  37. Innerwisdom

    Don't let Salmond get away scott-free over Murdoch – it's not just a two-party problem. //t.co/1eRVZzeC #PMQs

  38. Lynn Sheridan

    Don't let Salmond get away scott-free over Murdoch – it's not just a two-party problem. //t.co/1eRVZzeC #PMQs

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  42. Shamik Das

    Go on Dimbleby, ask Salmond abt #Murdoch… //t.co/3M02rcAX //t.co/cnwL1kD2 //t.co/jIXBdeTH //t.co/suoI5loc #BBCvote2012

  43. Daryn McCombe

    Go on Dimbleby, ask Salmond abt #Murdoch… //t.co/3M02rcAX //t.co/cnwL1kD2 //t.co/jIXBdeTH //t.co/suoI5loc #BBCvote2012

  44. Gus Jackson

    I smell nationalist shite!! The 25 questions over the SNP's Murdoch links //t.co/hF3QiiOf

  45. Time for slippery Salmond to answer for his "toe-curling fawning over Rupert Murdoch" | Left Foot Forward

    […] opposition in Scotland has billed the event as a day of reckoning, pointing to the 25 questions published by the party in July last year and the 13 formal parliamentary questions tabled in April, […]

  46. zinger

    I’m interested – can you list these obviously voluminous untruths (sorry but distruths isn’t a real word) and evidence that Salmond is at the center of any clandestine operations that involve him breaking the law, or did you just make those “facts” up in your head?

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