Sir Keir Starmer calls for Sturgeon to resign if found to have broken ministerial code

22 March 2021, 15:22

Starmer: Nicola Sturgeon "should go" if she breached ministerial code

By Sam Sholli

Nicola Sturgeon should resign if she is found to have broken the ministerial code, Sir Keir Starmer told LBC.

The Labour leader made this comment on LBC's exclusive phone-in Call Keir as Ms Sturgeon is coming under increased pressure to resign over the Alex Salmond inquiry.

MSPs on the Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints Committee voted 5-4 that Ms Sturgeon gave an "inaccurate" account of a meeting with her predecessor Alex Salmond during a live investigation, according to a source.

Knowingly giving an inaccurate account would amount to misleading the Scottish Parliament.

A Scottish Parliament spokeswoman said the committee is still considering its report.

The report is expected to be published in the coming days.

Read more: Watch today's Call Keir again here

Starmer says he will support plans to extend Covid lockdown powers

Nick asked, "If in the next 48 hours it is found Nicola Sturgeon has misled the Scottish Parliament, does she need to quit, Sir Keir?"

Sir Keir responded, "If she has breached the ministerial code, she should go. She wrote the foreword to the code...and she said she would lead by example, following not just the letter but the spirit of the code."

Starmer: The EU "isn't helping itself" in vaccine row

"We have to wait to see what the report [says]...But it's extremely serious the situation that they're in," the Labour leader continued.

"And I think in Scotland many people are saying in the middle of pandemic [why] on earth are we having this bitter squabble at the top of the SNP...Where are the priorities in Scotland?"

During the exclusive LBC show, Sir Keir Starmer also revealed his "default position" on Boris Johnson's extension to lockdown powers will be to support it.

'Sir Keir... What do you stand for?'

The Labour leader said: "We will look at the regulations but we have supported the government in these regulations every time they have put them before Parliament and that would be my starting position.

"We're not out of the pandemic. We are still rolling out the vaccine and in those circumstances I think the Government needs these powers and I would be slow to vote against powers which allow statutory sick pay to start on day one, which is very important during the pandemic, and against provisions which say you can't be evicted during the pandemic if you've fallen behind in arrears.

"We will see what the Government puts on the table but my default position is that we will be supporting the Government on this."

READ MORE: Starmer defends Hartlepool Labour candidate despite 'inappropriate' tweets
READ MORE: Sir Keir Starmer: The EU shouldn't block vaccines entering UK