Nicola Sturgeon: No confidence motion defeated in parliament
The First Minister said she would have stepped down if she had she been found to have broken the ministerial code, but added she would not be “bullied” out of her position. Ms Sturgeon faced a vote of no confidence today, which was brought by the Scottish Tories, who claimed she misled parliament and ignored legal advice. But the vote fell by 65 votes to 31 with 27 abstentions.
It came after James Hamilton, the independent advisor on the ministerial code, cleared Ms Sturgeon of a breach of the code.
This is despite a cross-party committee set up to look into the handling of harassment complaints against Alex Salmond voted by majority to conclude she misled parliament.
Express readers were asked whether the First Minister should resign after the inquiry found she misled Holyrood, between 11.45am and 9.48pm today.
Out of the 6,700 people who voted, a staggering majority of 6,576 readers (98 percent) said she should step down.
Nicola Sturgeon has been told to resign by Express readers in a poll
Only 115 people (2 percent) disagreed.
And nine voters (0 percent) said they did not know.
Readers were quick to call for Ms Sturgeon to stand down after the inquiry results were announced.
One reader said: “Sturgeon needs to go.”
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The First Minister said she would have stepped down if she had she been found to have broken the code
Another added: “Yes – resign.”
A third person simply wrote: “SNP out.”
Scottish Tory Holyrood leader, Ruth Davidson, said the First Minister had been found to have misled parliament and the “honourable” thing to do after the publication the report would be to step down.
She said: “After all that evidence-gathering and deliberation, the committee found that Nicola Sturgeon misled this parliament, nothing can erase that fact, however inconvenient it is to the First Minister and her supporters.
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Ms Sturgeon was cleared of a breach of the ministerial code
“And let’s remember, that by misleading this Scottish Parliament, she misled the people of Scotland too.
“No First Minister who truly wanted to live up to the ideals of this parliament should feel able to continue in post after having been judged guilty of misleading it.
“How can parliament have confidence in the words of a First Minister when those words have been found to be false?
“The honourable thing would be to resign.
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“Whether the First Minister has that sense of honour is now between her and her conscience.”
Labour leader Anas Sarwar said his party would not support the motion, as he added: “We cannot support a motion which is designed, not to deliver the kind of strong opposition they promised, but purely at dividing our country and our politics still further.
“A failing government on one hand; a game-playing opposition on the other.
“Our politics must be better than this. Our people deserve better than this.
Scottish Conservative MP Douglas Ross said she should “go”
“For the sake of the people of Scotland, coming through Covid, and with the huge challenge and task that faces us, we can’t come back to this.
“Scotland deserves a better government; and it deserves a better opposition.”
Scottish Conservative MP Douglas Ross also said she should “go now”.
He wrote on Twitter: “The verdict of the Parliament committee is in, Nicola Sturgeon misled the public. This sorry affair has already done enough damage.
“When will someone take responsibility?”
Nicola Sturgeon said she would not be “bullied” out of her position
In response to the vote, the First Minister said she would have quit if the report had “gone the other way”.
She said: “Had Mr Hamilton’s report gone the other way, I would have accepted it, had he found that I had breached the code in anything other than the most technical and immaterial of ways, I would have been standing here right now tendering my resignation.
“The integrity of the office I am so privileged to hold really does matter to me. The office of First Minister is more important than any temporary incumbent of it.”
She also told the Tories: “If you think you can bully me out of office, you are mistaken and you misjudge me. If you want to remove me as First Minister do it in an election. If today’s desperate political stunt proves anything, it is that you have no confidence whatsoever in your ability to do so, because you have nothing positive to offer the Scottish people.”