Salmond cannot lead cross party work after heavy criticism in Leveson report

The First Minister has been accused by Lord Leveson of seeking to entice the UK Government to act unlawfully over the BskyB bid. Alex Salmond is the most heavily criticised politician in the report.

Willie Rennie, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats said this had implications for future cross-party work to take the report forward in Scotland:

“It is not clear to me how Mr Salmond is going to be able to convene a cross-party group of leaders to take forward the report given he has been so heavily criticised in the report.

“He should offer to stand aside from the cross-party work. It should be led by someone untainted by the report.

“Lord Leveson has seen right through Alex Salmond. He is justly concerned about the murky dealings between Alex Salmond and the Murdochs.

“He found that Alex Salmond was prepared to entice a UK Minister to act unlawfully on the BskyB bid at the same time as he was seeking political support from Mr Murdoch’s newspapers.

“Lord Leveson did not believe Mr Salmond’s claims that the Ministerial Code required the First Minister lobby those UK Ministers on the bid.

“Although Lord Leveson found no hard evidence of a deal with the Murdochs he is clearly concerned about the cosy relationship.

“Of all the politicians considered by Lord Leveson he devotes the heaviest criticism for Alex Salmond.