Salmond ‘midge’ jibe at MSP Kelly

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Strat­ton Wil­liams

Ruther­glen’s Labour MSP James Kelly has been called a “par­lia­men­tary midge” by for­mer First Min­is­ter Alex Salmond.

The com­ment came af­ter Mr Kelly was cen­sured for breach­ing Holy­rood’s Code of Con­duct.

The charge arose when he told the press he had made a for­mal com­plaint against then First Min­is­ter Alex Salmond.

Mr Kelly con­tacted the Com­mis­sion for Eth­i­cal Stan­dards in Public Life claim­ing Mr Salmond failed to de­clare earn­ings from news­pa­per col­umns.

He also is­sued a media re­lease re­veal­ing de­tails of the com­plaint.

The com­mis­sioner dis­missed the claim as “not rel­e­vant” and “in­ad­mis­si­ble”.

Mr Salmond, then com­plained to the com­mis­sioner that Mr Kelly had breached the Code of Con­duct by re­veal­ing the ac­tion to the media.

Holy­rood’s Stan­dards, Pro­ce­dures and Public Ap­point­ments Com­mit­tee have now agreed with the com­mis­sioner that Mr Kelly’s ac­tions amounted to a breach.

But com­mit­tee con­vener Stewart Steven­son said they did “not con­sider that the breach in ques­tion jus­ti­fies any sanc­tions be­ing im­posed on James Kelly”.

Mr Steven­son said: “In reach­ing the de­ci­sion on sanc­tions, the com­mit­tee were mind­ful of the fact that James Kelly ac­knowl­edged that he had breached the code and stated that it was an in­ad­ver­tent breach.

“Fur­ther­more, he took per­sonal re­spon­si­bil­ity for it and apol­o­gised.”

Mr Steven­son added: “The rule cov­er­ing dis­clo­sure is im­por­tant be­cause it al­lows in­ves­ti­ga­tions by the com­mis­sioner and the com­mit­tee to be con­cluded in the ab­sence of ex­ter­nal par­ti­san com­ment.”

Alex Salmond has wel­comed the Stan­dard Com­mit­tee’s ver­dict.

Mr Salmond said:“I hope this unan­i­mous con­dem­na­tion by the Stan­dards Com­mit­tee fi­nally teaches Mr Kelly a les­son.

“To launch a silly com­plaint and then pub­lish it in fla­grant breach of the rules is a pa­thetic at­tack on a fel­low MSP.

“It is the act of a par­lia­men­tary midge, not a se­ri­ous politi­cian.”

Mr Kelly, how­ever, in­sists he was within his rights to ques­tion Mr Salmond’s ex­ter­nal earn­ings.

He said: “This was a mi­nor rules breach and I ac­cept the de­ci­sion of the com­mit­tee.

“How­ever, let me be clear. The rea­son Alex Salmond got so up­set and lodged a com­plaint is be­cause he didn’t like the idea of any­one draw­ing at­ten­tion to his out­side earn­ings.

“We now know that he earns in­come from four jobs – MP, MSP, news­pa­per colum­nist and au­thor.

“He rakes in £108,000 from news­pa­per col­umns alone.

“Peo­ple in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang will find it baf­fling that the for­mer First Min­is­ter has four jobs and earns six-fig­ure sums from out­side earn­ings.”

Mr Kelly main­tains that the public should move away from Mr Salmond’s “blus­ter” and they have a right to ex­pect open­ness about earn­ings from out­side work.

He con­tin­ued: “Mr Salmond should spend his time deal­ing with is­sues that mat­ter to con­stituents like se­cure jobs, bet­ter hous­ing and a stronger NHS rather than indulging him­self by writ­ing books and news­pa­per col­umns to boost his ego.”

I hope this unan­i­mous con­dem­na­tion fi­nally teaches Mr Kelly a les­son

Swipe Alex Salmond

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.