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By Bishop of Leeds
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Sturgeon: Failure To Identify Leak To Media 'Deeply Troubles Me'

2 min read

Nicola Sturgeon has said the failure to identify the leak of information relating to harassment complaints made against Alex Salmond to the Daily Record “deeply troubles” her.

The newspaper first broke the story on 23 August 2018 about the former first minister being reported to police, while a second report published on 25 August included details of the accusations.

But the First Minister told the parliamentary committee investigating the Scottish Government’s handling of harassment complaints she did not know where the leak came from.

Sturgeon said: “I don’t know where the leaks came from. I can tell you where I know they didn’t come from – they didn’t come from me, they didn’t come from anybody acting on my authority or my instruction or at my request. I’m as certain as I can be that they didn’t come from anybody in my office.”

An investigation by the Scottish government concluded only 23 people potentially had access to the material, but it was unable to identify the source.

A separate search made at the request of the ICO in January 2020 was also unable to do so.

Committee member Jackie Baillie asked whether the matter had been reported to the police. Sturgeon said she did not know, though added it was not reported as far as she was aware.

Baillie also pressed the First Minister on accusations that a senior member of the Scottish government revealed the name of one of the complainants to Salmond’s former chief of staff Geoff Aberdein.

The Labour MSP said this was an “extraordinary breach of confidentiality” and would be a “sackable offence”.

Sturgeon said she did not accept that is what happened, adding the senior official had been “clear” about this.


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