Ruth Davidson, who is now the party’s principal spokesperson at Holyrood, wrote on Twitter: “Not content with ‘forgetting’ she met Salmond’s former chief of staff, Nicola Sturgeon has now ‘forgotten’ to hand over WhatsApp messages to the inquiry committee. She’s turned into quite the ditz these days, hasn’t she?” It comes as it was claimed Nicola Sturgeon withheld from members of the Scottish Parliament messages with Alex Salmond.
She provided a series of WhatsApp messages in submission to the Holyrood inquiry looking into the Scottish Government’s unlawful handling of complaints against Mr Salmond.
The committee has been set up to look into the botched handling of sexual harassment allegations against Mr Salmond.
It was set up after the former First Minister was awarded more than £500,000 when the court ruled the Scottish Government’s investigation into the allegations against him was unlawful.
Ms Sturgeon informed the committee that she had spoken to Mr Salmond after an enquiry from Sky News about historic complaints of sexual misconduct.
However, The Times has been told she did not supply the committee with the messages exchanged at the time.
Mr Salmond’s legal team has written to the committee and offered to provide the content of the messages exchanged.
The Scottish Conservatives have also accused Ms Sturgeon of covering up a meeting at which Mr Salmond’s conduct was discussed.
A spokesman for the first minister said: “The Tories are deliberately conflating different issues. The first minister stands by what she has said.”
Mr Salmond was separately acquitted of all criminal charges at the High Court in Edinburgh.
Andrew Neil cast doubt over the future of Nicola Sturgeon’s political career after details emerged of the SNP leader’s handling of complaints against former First Minister Alex Salmond.
The First Minister told the inquiry she had “forgotten” about a meeting with Mr Salmond’s former chief of staff Geoff Aberdein on March 29,2018, where he mentioned the former first minister wanted to meet to discuss “allegations of a sexual nature”.
She had previously claimed she did not learn of the complaints until several days later, on April 2.
Andrew Neil wrote on Twitter: “These revelations, if they were about a prime minister, would be potentially career-destroying.
“London media would make it so. So the spotlight now falls on Scotland’s media: are they fans with laptops or a proper independent media prepared to hold Ms Sturgeon et al to account.”
Explaining details of her encounters with Mr Salmond and Mr Aberdein, Ms Sturgeon wrote: “Alex Salmond told me on April 2, 2018 at a meeting at my home that complaints against him were being investigated under procedure.
“At that meeting, he showed me a copy of the letter he had received outlining the detail of the complaints.
“As has been reported already, four days earlier – March 29, 2018 – I had spoken with Geoff Aberdein in my office at the Scottish Parliament.
“Mr Aberdein was in parliament to see a former colleague and while there came to see me. I had forgotten that this encounter had taken place until I was reminded of it in, I think, late January/early February 2019.”