Former prime minister Gordon Brown has said that the feud between Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond is “bringing the country down”.
Ms Sturgeon will make her long-awaited appearance before the Holyrood inquiry into the Scottish Government’s botched investigation into allegations of sexual harassment by Alex Salmond on Wednesday.
She is facing calls from the Scottish Conservatives to resign, after the Scottish Government published legal advice related to the matter on Tuesday evening.
The Scottish Government launched an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment by the former first minister, but it was found to be unlawful, unfair and “tainted by apparent bias” because of prior contact between the investigating officer and two of the women who complained.
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Asked about his thoughts on Ms Sturgeon and Mr Salmond, Mr Brown told ITV News: “They’re in a feud, they’re bringing the country down, it’s not really about policy.
“We’re worried about the virus, we’re worried about the economic recession, I’m worried about people coming together across the whole of Britain to deal with it, and we’ve got this feud about who said what when, and on the basis of some very bad behaviour.”
Asked if Ms Sturgeon would have to resign if she is found to have broken the ministerial code of conduct, he said: “If we cannot uphold in public life the highest standards of integrity, and if we cannot trust each other that we will take seriously the vows we make when we go into office, then I think anything goes and it becomes anarchy, and I don’t think that’s the way forward.”
Mr Brown also thinks that now is not the time for a second referendum:
He said: “Should you have a referendum at a time when we need time to heal from the virus and the recession? We also need a time to reflect, we don’t have the facts before us yet.
“We don’t know what independence means for jobs, for trade, for security, for defence, for the welfare state, for our pensions – nobody has given us these up-to-date facts.
“And nobody has given us the facts about what it means to stay in the union.”
He added: “Let’s get the facts on the table, let everybody see what’s actually happening, and that’s the only way in which a democracy can approach looking at these issues.”
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