Patrick Harvie: Salmond committee has descended into farce

A process which should have examined the Scottish Government’s failure to appropriately apply its sexual harassment complaints policy has been hijacked for political gain and descended into farce, Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie said today.

Mr Harvie spoke following yet more leaks from committee members, who have now clearly breached the MSP code of conduct themselves, ahead of the culmination of the years long inquiry process.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

“I’ve never seen a committee process more compromised by leaks, MSPs pre-judging the evidence, and party politics over-riding the public interest. What should have been an examination of how women were failed and how we could prevent that from happening again has turned into a complete farce.

“There were serious questions that needed to be answered by this committee, that’s why we supported its creation, but it’s clear that a number of committee members have absolutely no interest in establishing the facts or seeking to create a supportive environment for women to bring forward complaints. Instead they have bought into Alex Salmond’s conspiracy hook, line and sinker in the hope of securing a political scalp.

“It’s also clear that a number of members of the committee have breached the MSP code of conduct by leaking information to the media. Perhaps more astonishing is that committee members actually giving TV interviews in the midst of their deliberations.

“This week a complainer felt it necessary to issue a statement via Rape Crisis Scotland after David Davis MP took to his feet in the Commons to use parliamentary privilege to throw around yet more of Alex Salmond’s conspiracy theories. It is utterly disgraceful that the women at the heart of this saga have been so let down by the process that they’ve felt the need to do this.

"The Scottish Greens have said throughout that we will examine both the committee report and the Hamilton ministerial code inquiry before drawing any conclusions. Despite the indefensible behaviour of members of the Committee we are still willing to do so, but their actions have clearly destroyed the credibility of their own report before anyone has had the chance to read it."