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19th Mar 2021

Keir Starmer says Sturgeon should resign if she’s broken ministerial code

Charlie Herbert

It’s a big statement from Sir Keir Starmer as the pressure grows on Sturgeon

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon is facing accusations that she broke the ministerial code, and Labour leader Keir Starmer is in no doubt about what should happen if she is found to have.

He said: “If you’re going to have integrity in the Westminster Parliament or the Scottish Parliament, breaches of the ministerial code in either parliament ought to lead to a resignation.”

The Labour leader has described the issue as one of principles and not individuals.

Sir Keir is the latest political figure to suggest Sturgeon may need to resign. Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross has already called for her resignation, whilst Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar has said that it would be “incredibly serious” if Sturgeon was found to have broken the ministerial code.

Nicola Sturgeon is currently under scrutiny over whether she lied to the Scottish Parliament over her knowledge about the allegations of sexual harassment against her predecessor Alex Salmond. A report from the cross-party committee looking into whether she breached the code is expected on Tuesday.

The publishing of the committee’s findings could be incredibly damaging for Sturgeon and the SNP. In normal circumstances it would be expected that the party leader should resign. However both the Scottish First Minister and Sturgeon are incredibly popular in the polls and amongst voters, which will help ease the pressure on her and her party.

The calls from opposition leaders for the SNP Leader to resign though will not be going away anytime soon. Whilst Starmer’s comments may at first seem surprising, appearing to call for a political ally to resign, it must be remembered that Labour and the SNP are very much in opposition in Scotland.

With Scottish Parliament elections due to be held in May, be in no doubt that a lot of the fall-out from the inquiry and its findings is likely to have more than a hint of political motivation behind it.