ALEX SALMOND ASKS WHY?

A spokesman for Mr Salmond said 

“The Parliamentary Committee unanimously found that Leslie Evans as Permanent Secretary was not just corporately but individually responsible for the “prolonged, expensive and unsuccessful defence” of the Judicial Review of her procedure which the Court of Session found to be “unlawful”, “unfair” and “tainted by apparent bias”.

The Committee said that those responsible should be held “accountable”. However, instead of asking for her resignation the Scottish Government seems to have afforded her every possible financial advantage on her retirement. The question is why?”

Relevant extracts from Committee Report.

598. The Committee concludes that the Scottish Government was responsible from an early stage for a serious, substantial and entirely avoidable situation that resulted in a prolonged, expensive and unsuccessful defence of the Petition. The Committee finds that this state of affairs is unacceptable by an organisation such as the Scottish Government and that those responsible should be held accountable.

599. The Committee is conscious that the Permanent Secretary’s office was identified as coordinating the supply of information for the judicial review and that the Permanent Secretary was one of a few people who had been aware of the prior contact of the Investigating Officer. It must be questioned why the Permanent Secretary in her role and with her knowledge did not ensure that the relevant information was extracted and processed at a much earlier stage. This individual failing is as significant as the general corporate failing already described.

Last week the Scottish Government published their answer to a FOI request

https://www.gov.scot/publications/foi-202200303395/

You can check it out but not a lot of information was provided was there?

BEFORE WE GO ANY FURTHER CAN I REMIND EVERYBODY LESLIE EVANS REFUSED TO APPEAR BEFORE A PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE TO REVIEW HER TIME IN OFFICE.

As Holyrood Magazine reminds us

“Permanent secretary Leslie Evans has refused to appear before Holyrood’s Finance and Public Administration Committee five months after first being asked to attend to “reflect on her time in office”.

After what has been termed “ongoing dialogue” following a formal invitation in January, her office has now said she will be on leave until her retirement on the last day of this month.( March 2022)

Convenor Kenneth Gibson said the panel is “extremely disappointed at the discourtesy shown” by her “failure to engage”, something that has been taken as an effective refusal to appear.

In a letter to Gibson sent on 7 March, Evans’ office stated that her leave had started on 31 December and was ongoing. It further stated that she was unable to “speak on behalf of or represent the views of Scottish ministers” and is “effectively no longer a post-holder within the Scottish Government”.

In a response made public today, ( 10th March) Gibson wrote that “at no point” had she been asked to speak for a minister, adding: “We have been absolutely clear at all times that our interest lay in your own reflections, not those of ministers, to support the committee in developing a clearer understanding of the workings of government in our new public administration role.

“Very few people have the opportunity to gain your level of experience in government, which we considered would have been beneficial in informing our future scrutiny.”

Interestingly the Committee Convenor seems to have thought he understood what might be behind Ms Evans reluctance, so in a reply he stated “ We are firmly of the view that it is in the public interest for the committee to hear from civil servants as part of our public administration remit. You remain in the employment of the Scottish Government and we do not accept that your period of leave exempts you from giving evidence to a parliamentary committee.”

Evans was a key player in the investigations launched in the wake of the allegations levelled against former first minister Alex Salmond. In his letter, Gibson stated that “reassurances have repeatedly been given that the evidence session was not intended to revisit events previously considered by the committee on the Scottish Government’s handling of harassment complaints”. Evans left office at the end of March and the Committee gave up trying to get her to appear before them.

If she was honest in her evidence and thought the case against Salmond has been presented honestly why would she need assurances nobody would ask her questions about it? Yet even with this assurance being granted the leading civil servant in the most senior position felt she was entitled to rebuff the Parliamentary Committee. The fear is strong in this one. It would be fascinating to know of any other examples in Parliaments around the World where this could happen. This seems to be a quite astonishing rebuff but perhaps this is all part of a secret deal? Did the First Minister make any attempt to instruct her to attend? Of course not!

Remember this woman was employed for years as the most senior Civil Servant. The permanent secretary to the Scottish Government. By refusing to appear before the committee she is signalling that she believes she is now untouchable. I have some suggestions at the end of this article which may inflict a cost on her professional reputation.

Let’s look at the evidence. Or likelihood of a secret deal? Ms Evans was deeply involved in creating the deeply flawed disciplinary procedures used to accuse Mr Salmond. She knew from the outset of the Judicial process that one of her staff had a conflict of interest and had interviewed the complainant and also been involved in drawing up the code. She did not reveal this to the Government’s legal team. This directly led to the judge criticising the Scottish Government defence as being unlawful, unfair and tinged with apparent bias.

She was also totally responsible for the seven different instances the Judge COMPLAINED about the Scottish Government withholding documents and information from the Inquiry.

Their defence collapsed and was eventually thrown out, after the Scottish Government’s own legal counsel threatened to withdraw unless the proper information and documents were supplied.

These “errors” resulted in Mr Salmond winning just over £500,000 towards his legal costs and while no figure has been put on Government costs they must also have been very substantial.

Normally a senior civil servant making such a serious catalogue of errors would expect to be sacked. Not Ms Evans Nicola Sturgeon steadfastly refused to sack her. Instead she rewarded Ms Evans with a two year contract extension.

Ms Evans of course was recorded as stating “ we may have lost the battle but we will win the war”. Clearly feeling contrite about her mistakes!”

Bad enough but it does not end there Ms Evans has now left her post but the financial arrangements of her departure remain clouded from public view.

We know her annual salary was £175,000 and her annual pension is £85,000 per annum after a £255,000 initial payoff but there are a number of other financial arrangements that require explanation.

Seemingly when she left she claimed pay for 19.5 days of unused holiday pay entitlement. Fair enough but she was also awarded 3 months of pay on leaving the Civil Service. This is normally unpaid as it is a legal requirement to ensure there is a delay between leaving the civil service and taking up any outside post. It can rarely however be paid in special circumstances. What were those special circumstances? There are also news reports about special “compensation” payments. I think all this requires a special statement clearing up these matters from the Scottish Government. I don’t really accept their reluctance to make public these arrangements.

This is an employee who presided over years of confusion, obstruction, redaction and delay. Whose evidence during the Salmond enquiry was in my view dubious at best. Throughout she was evasive. In this she was not alone but despite having been briefed in advance on what to say and how to say it like others it became necessary in many cases to issue “correction” stories as her team were badly exposed, even by the less than professional cross examination.

I raise these points because there seems a trend amongst those involved in the Salmond plot, who have all enjoyed promoted posts, contract extensions, compensation payments when there was no contractual responsibility, which all seems to point to a keep quiet strategy at the very top. That several of them were amongst the tight group still being investigated by the police over the leak to the Daily Record may also be a factor.

Here is what I hope happens next, pay attention Messrs Sarwar and Ross. Get your pens out gentlemen and write to the First Minister as follows

What do you think of Leslie Evans refusal to face questions at a Parliamentary Committee to explain her impressions of her period in office? Is that something you approve of?

Does the Scottish Government need to develop a code to ensure civil servants need to recognise it is the elected members, not civil servants, no matter how senior, that can dictate attendance at Parliamentary Committees?

Have you, or would you write a reference for Ms Evans and recommend her to other potential employers?

Have you any idea First Minister why she seems paranoid to answer questions about the whole Alex Salmond show trial and Inquiry that went so horribly wrong? Did she speak to you about this before she left?

I am, as always

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59 thoughts on “ALEX SALMOND ASKS WHY?

  1. Shouldn’t be rewarded with anything but a jail sentence by the sounds of it – but for that Scotland might need a competent police service with no bias , an honest crown prosecution service , the odd judge with integrity and a media interested in reporting fully and honestly. Scotland has none of these.

    Liked by 25 people

  2. Fred the shred, and the Royal Bank are disgraced, and he looses his titles. Evens is showered with gifts of money and extensions to employment for total incompetence by NS, does not take much thought to realize why. It is only a matter of time before all this blows up, and when it does I hope all involved loose any financial gain they have been given, and it is not just Leslie Evans. Well done Iain, keep turning the screws.

    Liked by 19 people

    1. Heres hkling ut blows up, and soon! We cannit affirx to kst thiz rest. Keep probing Isin and ifberz wuth the skulls and contacts. It is outrageous thatxshe is getting away with this

      Liked by 10 people

  3. What do we need to force a long overdue Judicial Inquiry into this?

    I know it’s been called for, but those calls were ignored. Those calls surely now need to become demands.

    Without saying this “is” corruption, (for how can we know without scrutiny?), and having proof of a lurid conspiracy to frame and jail an innocent man as a sex offender, surely the merest hint that it “might” be, ought to have our legal watchdogs straining at the leash.

    The moment I heard that both Evans and Swinney had a free hand in redacting the evidence pertinent to their own activities, the Fabiani Inquiry simply lost all credibility. – Not that it had very much to begin with.

    Furthermore, given the recent behaviour of certain SNP members who can’t keep their hands to themselves once they’ve a drink in them, and the SNP’s double standards and attitude towards the handling of these complaints, we would seem to be accumulating even more evidence of the extent that Mr Salmond was the victim of an atypical, contrived witch hunt and orchestrated conspiracy to the frame him, whereas known and actual sex pests in the SNP are protected, and are not subjected to anything remotely like the same “scrutiny”. Nor are they thrown to the wolves the way Alex Salmond was.

    With no judicial inquiry into these grubby events, surely Scotland is giving the green light for future scandals to occur with impunity, and giving fair notice to all that there will be no challenge to the political chicanery no matter how grotesque it appears; without even a passing enthusiasm for establishing who is actually at the centre of it.

    Perhaps it’s Scotland’s Court of Session which needs the SALVO treatment, and reminded of it’s Scottish Constitutional obligations to serve the Common good… “Something is rotten in the State of Denmark”…. (an apt quote from Hamlet, where Marcellus is summing up the corruption of King Claudius, and the effect it has on the kingdom being intensified because his crimes are going unpunished).

    If neither the Police nor COPFS will take an interest, then Police Scotland and the Crown Office surely then need investigated themselves, for their own improprieties and their apparent disinterest in perjury and false evidence.

    Liked by 28 people

    1. The only people “thrown to the wolves” by this Scottish Government under Nicola Sturgeon are those whom Nicola Sturgeon perceives as a threat to herself. Just look at those MPs who have lost their positions on the SNP Front Bench to be replaced by mediocre replacements. This is without listing the numerous people brought before courts to prevent them from showing the SG up for their lack of attention to Independence and paying far too much attention to minority groups with their own agenda.

      Liked by 14 people

  4. Even our former FM Alex Salmond could not win against the Establishment wall that has built up around the Sturgeon/Murrell clique. Linda Evans was afforded the most generous financial package to keep her quiet about her own “shortcomings” and those of ministers and others she supposedly “served”. “Power tends to corrupt …” and all that.

    Until Parliamentary committees have the actual power to force individuals to attend, this will continue forever. Judges and even sheriffs had these powers (and use them), so why not Parliamentary committees which represent the people? In reality, the people are not as important as those judges appointed by a self-serving Establishment wishing to preserve its power, control and privilege.

    Liked by 15 people

  5. I did an article on this truly repulsive character some time ago. It focused on the false testimony she gave under oath. At some point I will do a Part 2 to that although I have a ton of stuff I am working on just now. Some of it with others.

    Even if you ignore all her subsequent actions the fact is Leslie Evan came up with a procedure that not only allowed people to make anonymous complaints against someone but one that also did not allow the accused to know the full details of the complaint against them either. Oh and it also allowed anonymous witnesses to make statements in support of the complainers as well this despite none of them being witnesses to the actual events complained about. Other than instantly assuming the guilt of the accused, which you could make an argument that ‘Investigating Officer’ Judith Mackinnon did from the start anyways, you would struggle to come up with a more unfair procedure.

    Who on earth would be happy to submit themselves to such a process as this? Certainly not cowards like Leslie Evans or her boss. They are not so great on detail and recall after all.

    How that Procedure could have been legally checked over and given the green light is beyond me. It just shows that the legal advice the SG gets is worthless.

    The accused should always know who it is that has complained about them and also the full details of the complaint against them. That is so they are able to mount a proper defence. This is basic stuff. The Scottish Government actually acknowledged this in guidance given to Judith Mackinnon and Nicola Richards in regards to complaints. For some reason they chose to ignore it.

    Leslie Evans in her dismal testimony actually said that she tried to strike a balance between protecting the confidentiality of the complainers and allowing Mr Salmond sufficient details of the complaints. An impossible position to take. There could be no balance between the two. She is either corrupt or as thick as mince. I get the impression she is a bit of both. Worse though she actually admitted in letters to Alex Salmond’s lawyers that he already knew who the complainers were anyways! So why go through the delicate balancing act at all then? The answer is to prevent the former First Minister from being able to defend himself properly against the complaints. To try and stack the decks as much as possible against him.

    Liked by 26 people

    1. “It just shows that the legal advice the SG gets is worthless.”

      Yes JS … but expensive!

      Looking forward to reading your next article on this and related subjects …

      Liked by 16 people

  6. The fact that “the Committee gave up trying to get her to appear before them” is itself a disgrace.

    But, to me, it is recognition that the former Permanent Secretary is untouchable. The question “why?” again springs to mind.

    Liked by 17 people

  7. Anyone who still believes that this production was wholly produced and directed in Scotland, must now produce their reasoning for that conclusion. As for Sarwar and Ross picking up their pens to enquire of Sturgeon—as unionists, thoroughly opposed to Scottish independence: why would they?

    Liked by 12 people

  8. She is untouchable and so is Sturgeon; both aided by the British State and Scotland is now operating under a fascist regime. It’s as clear as daylight that the whole Salmond fiasco was orchestrated/ approved by Westminster, Sturgeon neither has the brains or resources alone to carry this out without assistance. There will be no referendum in 2023.

    Liked by 14 people

    1. I don’t think it was Westminster Niall – Whitehall expressed their concern thee the horrendous procedure Evens came up with. I personally think it was the dark state and I think either through choice or kompromat Sturgeon is their puppet. The weakest link in this chain is Evans – getting her into the dock seems the easiest target as she was responsible for so much that requires jail time. Once in the dock she will throw the others under the bus to reduce her own penalties. The dark state will throw al it can in the path of this but if democracy is to have any meaning then this must be done and done completely. Many thanks to Iain, John and all our friends out there who who are driving this forward. The US is cleaning house and Trump is heading for jail – time to bring down the usurpers of democracy – or lose it.

      Liked by 10 people

    1. Maybe because Evans took P Simon’s advice to ” slip out the back Jack ( Les ) : make a new plan Stan ( John ) ; you don’t need to be coy Roy ( Nic ) ; and get yourself free ” .

      Liked by 14 people

  9. This piece just reinforces the utter corruption that exists within our police, prosecution and civil service.

    Evans is a symbol of the establishment who would stop at nothing as part of an orchestrated drive to destroy political opponents.

    And let us be clear, these people would kill if they have to. Look at Northern Ireland. Look how the dark British establishment arranged for the murder of prominent lawyers like Rosemary Nelson and Pat Finucaine.

    Leslie Evans is part of that establishment, part of the apparatus of the dark arts security service.

    And the Scottish Parliament. Its just a joke. But that was what it was set up to be.

    A proper parliament, our own civil service, a police force commuted to honesty and the Rule of Law, an honest judiciary. That is what we need.

    Leslie Evans. A colonial administrator.

    Liked by 17 people

  10. Interesting to compare Iain’s welcome article here with the stunningly contrary tenor of Libby Brooks’ ‘THE WORLD IS MY OYSTER.’ Guardian interview with Nicola Sturgeon, eg,

    « The first minster’s demeanour today is a world away from the winter of 2020-21, when Covid cases were surging again, just as Alex Salmond vented his fury for what he claimed was a “malicious plot” to destroy his reputation orchestrated by senior officials close to Sturgeon. “There was a period where I was trying to lead the country through a global pandemic, and at the same time trying to withstand a full-frontal assault by my predecessor to bring me down,” she says, as though she still finds it hard to compute. Coming through it “has shown me that I’m a bit more resilient than I thought”, she reflects; “more confident in my own skin”. “Having to deal with Covid also allowed me – even given the toxic horribleness of the Salmond stuff – to put it into perspective in a way that I probably wouldn’t have been able to do had it been on its own without that backdrop.” »

    See Grouse Beater’s coverage here:
    https://grousebeater.wordpress.com/2022/08/13/sturgeon-in-her-own-words/

    Liked by 13 people

    1. It is a hard article to read. Cynical, unscrupulous, drivel.

      The funny thing is I have more respect now for AS now than I did when he was in office. I used to get frustrated with the man at times, probably placing too many demands on leaders in my own mind which was childish on my part and the result of years of frustration.

      I now know when his time is up Alec Salmond will be deep in credit.

      Liked by 13 people

    2. Sturgeon continued to place untested and positive covid old folk into care homes long after England recognised this was a death sentence and stopped the practice. Sturgeon was up to her oxters in the covid strategy and there is no credible reality where the England strategists recognised the problem and did not let the other nations know! Sturgeon has blood all over her hands – maybe she could talk a wee bit about that and the propaganda “report” she tried to use to cover it up.

      Like

    3. Grouse Beaters coverage shows up the problem we face: Sturgeon is a very skillful orator. All horrors who rise to power must be, I suppose, or they would be shunned as their actions ought to be. Reading this, who would believe the actions of this treacherous Stalinist?

      Like

  11. “There was a period where I was trying to lead the country through a global pandemic, and at the same time trying to withstand a full-frontal assault by my predecessor to bring me down,”
    Sturgeon

    And there was me thinking that an innocent man was the victim of a foul plot – seen through by brave, mainly female jurors (no wonder she wants to abolish jury trials).

    What are we to make of this pleading the victim – when the opposite is true?

    Well, it actually diagnostic of a major psychological disorder – Narcissistic Personality Disorder (poor me!)

    https://harrogatefamilylaw.co.uk/its-not-them-its-you-why-narcissists-are-always-the-victim/

    “It’s not them, it’s you: why narcissists are always the victim”

    “Being in a relationship with a narcissist is difficult for a multitude of reasons. One of them being the fact that a narcissist will very often play the victim. This kind of behaviour will usually become apparent during disagreements, arguments, or when they’re requesting things from you.

    Ultimately, playing the victim is a form of manipulation. But why do narcissists always take on that role?

    Self-pity makes a narcissist feel like a hero”.

    “At the end of the day, narcissists are very arrogant. They have a grandiose sense of self and very often can’t look beyond themselves. But this form of self-esteem is not authentic. So, feeling self-pity and playing the victim acts as a substitute for that lack of authentic self-worth”.

    “Essentially, being the victim makes them the mistreated and misunderstood hero in a story that’s all about them. It plays on the narrative that their needs are the most important because they’ve previously not been met, or they’ve been wronged somehow in the past”.

    “In a way, they believe their own role, because it contributes to their belief that they deserve to be given the most attention and respect”.

    Does this sound like anyone we all know?

    Liked by 19 people

  12. When I have a spare cash I have been punting it into Mark Hirst’s fund at http://www.civillibertyscotland.com. I believe we need to know how power works in Scotland. In particular at the leadership level between Politics, Police , Civil service and the Crown Office.

    The horrendous treatment of Alec Salmond by Sturgeon and others is hopefully an opportunity in some ways. Or it could potentially prove to be. I still have faith in the people, and in our lawyers. It is as the man himself has said. it is the leadership who have failed. It didn’t just start failing (on demand) when sturgeon started stinking oot the hoose.

    Liked by 13 people

  13. We must continually step back to get the big picture. Leslie Evans is being protected. Nicola Sturgeon is being protected. Why does the state-controlled Guardian suddenly celebrate Sturgeon when she is supposedly poised to “Break Up Britain”?

    Nicola seems to have had four main tasks:

    a) sabotage Alex Salmond
    b) sabotage the Scottish National Party
    c) sabotage Scotland’s assets
    d) sabotage the next referendum

    In Libby Brooks’ article we glimpse an upbeat Sturgeon. Tasks just about adequately completed.She is beginning to listen out for her promised airlift. But whence cometh the private plane? That is our question.

    Liked by 17 people

  14. I have wondered how much of this was hatched when when Leslie was at her holiday home, it’s well known her neighbour has harboured a grudge with Salmond since Alex dispensed with his services a decade ago, he of plenty cash, a few lambs and Range Rovers, and apparently no links to any companies with links to the proposed greenports.
    Also maybe the old Blawhard has his eyes on the role Sturgeon will give up at some point

    Liked by 8 people

  15. Another important article. Sturgeon’s hatred for Salmond still trumps everything, including our independence. How many britnat civil servants still operate inside Holyrood?

    Liked by 10 people

  16. Much as we see, a “colonial regime owes its legitimacy to force” and in such an environment “The native…. hardly ever seeks for justice in the colonial framework” (Frantz Fanon). “Every colonial nation carries the seeds of fascist temptation in its bosom” (Albert Memmi), however an independence movement carefully analysing its situation begins to understand what it is dealing with, that a “colonised society is a diseased society”, and that independence is decolonisation, and liberation from oppression.

    Liked by 7 people

  17. Wonder if Evans would dare refuse to appear before a Westminster committee. Probably not – her boss (not Sturgeon, but the head of UK civil service) wouldn’t allow it. Which shows you the contempt with which he also hold Holyrood.

    Liked by 5 people

  18. https://caltonjock.com/

    Comment: But Evans 90 day’s paid “gardening leave” from January until the end of her employment on 31 March 2022 was a Scottish government imposed requirement for the employee to be absent from her place of work on dates not of her own choosing and was not therefore official leave since at the end of her employment she was awarded a payment for 19.5 days of annual leave that she had not taken. The committee could have insisted she attend, but didn’t!!!!!

    Liked by 6 people

      1. I see in The Herald the announcement:
        THE SNP has already spent more than a third of its £740,000 independence fighting fund without knowing when or if there will be a vote.

        The party said it had so far spent more than £250,000 on activity “directly related to the campaign for independence”, including more than £200,000 last year alone.

        Could it be this whole pretendy indyref farce is to get the SNP out of a misuse of funds rap over the missing 600k by grey expenditure on “effort”?

        Certainly Sturgeon is on her last task: sabotage our peaceful path to independence.

        Like

  19. Pure and simple political corruption….. and if police (scotland) were not corrupt also she would be answering criminal charges.

    Liked by 5 people

  20. Sturgeon and Evans are Quisling puppets worked by a Westminster hand. This is Colonialism in action, divide and rule, take out the indigenous natives who wont be bought and sold and could take Scotland out of their dirty, rotten ,coercive Union. Why did Sturgeon not do this when England broke the terms of the treaty of Union. Why did Sturgeon not inact Scottish Sovereignty, Why did she accept Boris saying no to a referendum, Why did Sturgeon not initiate a Pebicsite election. Her list of betrayal is endless .She is simply an agent of UK.OK state designed to keep us in servitude.

    Liked by 5 people

  21. I’m pretty sure that any one of us who refused to appear before a committee of the House of Commons, US Senate or any Australian State or Federal Parliament would be facing a charge of Contempt of Parliament and spending time in jail until we “purged the contempt” by agreeing to appear. Doesn’t Holyrood have any teeth? This is on a par with the Lord Advocate threatening the Fabiani Inquiry if they dared poke too much into the Salmond criminal trial. Would a UK Attorney General dare do that to a HoC Committee? Evans and Wolffe demonstrate just how much contempt the Sturgeon clique have for accountability.

    Liked by 1 person

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