Salmond goes AWOL as Labour attack “arrogance and contempt” of SNP leader

Alex Salmond was accused of "running scared" after he failed to show up for a debate on the SNP's lack of legal advice on EU membership at Holyrood today.

 

Alex Salmond was accused of “running scared” after he failed to show up for a debate on the SNP’s lack of legal advice on EU membership at the Scottish Parliament today.

The first minister has gone to ground after his repeated claims he had sought advice on the legality of an independent Scotland’s EU membership were torpedoed by his deputy Nicola Sturgeon last week. She revealed legal advice was sought only after the signing of the Edinburgh Agreement by Alex Salmond and David Cameron.

Labour’s James Kelly MSP said of his absence today:

“The whole nation doubts the first minister’s word and yet he refuses to come to the Scottish Parliament to defend his battered reputation.

“His arrogance and contempt for the Scottish people is breathtaking.

“How can the Scottish people trust a man who won’t even defend himself in the Scottish Parliament? A man who when he gets caught out rigs his own inquiry.

“This is a man who said he wanted the referendum to be built in Scotland but won’t come to the Scottish Parliament.”

Adding:

“He says he will debate David Cameron any time any where, but he is too feart to debate Johann Lamont on his own character in front the Scottish people. Who’s Lord Snooty now?

“He says he is just getting on with his job but it looks like he is doing other ministers’ jobs for them as another excuse not to face the truth.

“Alex Salmond lied, got caught and now refuses to face the Scottish Parliament.”

The opposition have been calling for the SNP leader to pay back the thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money spent trying to keep the public from knowing about the legal advice the Scottish government had received, Labour’s business manager at Holyrood, Paul Martin, describing it as “an obscene waste of money which only heightens the farce that the SNP has created over Scotland’s future in the EU”.

As Martin says:

The reality is this was a delaying tactic as they tried to hide their dishonesty. We believe that Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon should pay this money back as a gesture of goodwill to the Scottish people they have deceived at our expense.”

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.