The Salmond Stitch-Up – the Incredible Facts, and why Mackinnon and Evans Must Be Sacked 272

Judith Mackinnon joined the Scottish government in 2017. She was slotted into the highly remunerated non-job of Head of People Advice. That really is her title. I saw it in the Record and did not believe it, but just phoned the Scottish Government and they confirmed it. Judith Mackinnon is Head of People Advice at the Scottish Government. She was previously Head of Human Resource Governance at Police Scotland. A senior policeman tells me that appeared in practice to mean professional feminist.

As might be expected from somebody with such pointless job titles, Mackinnon writes gobbledegook rather than English. Here is an extract from her Police Scotland submission to the consultation on the Scottish Government bill on gender equality on boards.

I confess I got no further than answer 1), my bullshit meter having exploded. I felt very sorry for Jackie McKelvie.

It is vital to note that, in her peculiar non-job at the Scottish Government, Mackinnon had no normal professional contact with the alleged “complainants” against Alex Salmond. It is still more vital to note that the “complainants” did not approach Mackinnon. In January 2018, shortly after starting at the Scottish Government, Mackinnon sought them out and – as it was carefully put in court today (tremendous twitter stream report here), spoke to them in a manner “bordering on encouragement to proceed with formal complaints” against Alex Salmond. It appears this was a process, not just one meeting. Again in the language used in court today, there was a “significant amount of direct personal contact” between Mackinnon and the complainants.

At this stage the complaints were brought to the attention of Leslie Evans, the Permanent Secretary – assuming she was not the one who instigated Mackinnon to act originally. Incredibly, Evans then appoints Mackinnon as the formal investigating officer for the case.

Even more incredibly, Mackinnon and Evans then together work on a new Civil Service Code which specifically makes the retrospective actioning of these complaints possible.

So Mackinnon instigated the complaints, investigated the complaints and drafted the code changes which made the complaints actionable.

Judith Mackinnon has been a human resources professional operating for over 25 years. It is impossible that Mackinnon did not realise that this method of pursuing a stitch up is absolutely illegitimate, as was today conceded in court. It is equally impossible that the Head of the Civil Service, Leslie Evans, did not realise these measures were completely illegitimate.

The actions of these civil servants are not just reckless, they are a deliberate stitch-up of an individual amounting to the crime of misconduct in public office. It is most certainly a sacking offence and it is Evans and Mackinnon who should be the subject of police investigation. Apart from their deliberate and cold malice towards Salmond, they have cost the taxpayer £350,000 wasted on this case.

Leslie Evans issued a statement today which is breathtaking in these circumstances in its impudence and its tendentiousness. She appears to try to say that she did not know until last month of Mackinnon’s role in instigating the complaints.

After reassessing all the materials available, I have concluded that an impression of partiality could have been created based on one specific point – contact between the Investigating Officer and the two complainants around the time of their complaints being made in January 2018.

The full picture only became evident in December 2018 as a result of the work being undertaken to produce relevant documents in advance of the hearing.

This amounts to an incredible accusation against Mackinnon by Evans. To save her own skin, Evans appears to be alleging that at the time of Mackinnon’s appointment as investigating officer, Mackinnon did not reveal to Evans her role in initiating the “complaints”; and presumably also left that out of the investigative reports, if Evans did not find out until December.

However as a former member of the senior civil service myself, I can tell you that the truly disgusting Leslie Evans is here attempting to give that impression by weasel drafting. She is saying that “the full picture” only became clear in December. In fact, Evans already knew a great deal more than she is here attempting to portray. Perhaps she didn’t know whether Mackinnon and the complainants drank tea or coffee together, hence not the “full picture”.

There is a still more important and extraordinary misrepresentation in Evans’ statement, She claims:

All the other grounds of Mr Salmond’s challenge have been dismissed

I cannot understand this at all. There has been no judgement issued in the case. The Scottish Government caved in once it was ordered to reveal the incriminating emails and minutes that told the above story. The Scottish Government caved in and settled out of court; therefore the case was dismissed by the judge. It is totally false of Evans to claim that this amounts to Salmond’s other claims being “dismissed” in the sense she intends to convey, and indeed is the opposite of what the Scottish Government’s own QC specifically stated in court. He said that the Government disagreed with Salmond on the other points but that this was “now academic”.

The misrepresentations in Leslie Evans’ statement are simply appalling in a civil servant. She has to go.

All documents in this case should now be released. It is a matter of essential public interest, relating to a politically motivated attempt to impact on the bid for Independence of the entire Scottish nation. One thing that those documents will make clear is whether or not the First Minister’s office was as entirely insulated from events as is claimed.

Nicola Sturgeon must now move to demand the resignation of both Evans and Mackinnon. Both fully deserve to lose their jobs. If Sturgeon moves to protect them, she will attract suspicion that she is motivated by keeping them silent about the extent of her own involvement in the sorry process. To avoid this rumour she has to act swiftly and decisively and invite them to resign tomorrow morning.


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272 thoughts on “The Salmond Stitch-Up – the Incredible Facts, and why Mackinnon and Evans Must Be Sacked

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  • Eileen Fashae

    Total attempt to destroy a decent man. These 2 should be drummed out of office forthwith

  • Kate Malcolmson

    Judith McKinnon was previously ‘Head of Human Resource Governance’at Police Scotland.
    A senior policeman told you that this title appeared in practice to mean ‘professional feminist’
    Can you elaborate on your inclusion of this opinion and tell me exactly what you mean by it’s use?

    • Capt Bluntschli

      I’ll be glad to help you, but only under one condition: That is that you are seriously considering applying for the job.

  • Brian Hambly

    If the above is correct then the described callous agenda driven witch hunt (where ‘victims’ have been sought and statements manipulated) makes it nigh on impossible to feel confident in any final outcome whether or not Mr Salmond is found to have indulged in reprehensible behaviour as A) will he be seen as the victim of orchestrated slander, B) will this action be seen as part of a wider agenda, C) will the victims (if there ever was such persons) of inappropriate attention feel justice has been done on their behalf ?

  • Laura Robertson

    I feel you were a bit het up when you wrote this. In the cold light of day, can I suggest that you don’t mock JM’s job titles; that the police officer’s quote about ‘professional feminist’ says more about him (and maybe by extension, you) than it does about JM; and that you don’t call LE (or anyone) ‘appalling’.

    I like your facts and fact checking and thoroughness in looking at sources and uncovering links. Stick to that; it’s a better look.

    • Laura Robertson

      You said “the truly disgusting Leslie Evans” – not acceptable IMO
      Conversely, “the misrepresentations in Leslie Evans’ statement are simply appalling in a civil servant” – acceptable IMO

      What I’m saying is play the ball, not the person.

      • john hartley

        Understand the sentiment, but this begs the question, when someone’s behaviour is disgusting, at what point does their continuation on a course of action make them a disgusting person?

  • DG

    “and invite them to resign tomorrow morning”

    What was that about misleading civil service speak? 😉

  • Patricia Jane Walker

    Both must go as to me it is apparent this was a stitch up if they dont resign the two complainants must be named end of

    • Jo1

      Naming the complainants isn’t something we should be calling for Patricia. They are protected whether we believe, in the circumstances we have here, that’s fair or not.

      The problem with Evans and MacKinnon is that neither journalists or politicians are remotely concerned about their actions in bringing the whole process into disrepute leading to the collapse of the case. No, they’re more concerned about Party-politics and going after Sturgeon.

      In an ordinary CS investigation anyone found to have done what Evans and MacKinnon have done would be now facing disciplinary action themselves. That such blatant misconduct by senior officials in a high profile case is attracting no media outrage whatsoever tells you what an absolute sewer Scotland now is politically.

  • E. McLaughlin

    Thank goodness for those such as Craig Murray, that are prepared to write the truth in matters such as these. I agree, that these two spongers must go, and without any delay.

  • R

    The lead investigator of the Police Scotland enquiry as to whether there was criminality involved on Alex Salmond’s part (& I hope on any other persons part) is DCS Lesley Boal. The enquiry named Operation Diem was commenced in September 2018. There are no indications as to when this enquiry will be concluded, but I suspect as long as it needs to (i.e. to cast a shadow over Salmond & prevent him from any political engagement)!

    DCS Boal received a Queen’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service (QPM) in the January 2017 Honours list. A Queen’s honour award is many a time a reward / inducement from the establishment & there have been nefarious aspects associated with the Honours system since the 1920’s (Maundy Gregory & his <a href=""'selling&#039; of Honours)

  • Scottish Intelligence Service

    Skripal Psyop scam now outed as probably part of “Operation Iris”. Integrity Initiative, Institute fo Statecraft involved. These are the people who are running the Psyops, to create an agenda, like “anti-Russian hysteria”, that is not questioned in the mainstream media. Not questioned because the agenda / narrative has now replaced the truth.

    (Truth still available from some truth seeking people in the USA)

    To question the agenda is to be branded a “conspiracy theorist” or “mysognist” or such. Hence why it is now so easy to black ball somebody over sexual deviant fabrications.

    We must see through the likes of the probable black balling of Mr Salmond. It is no coincidence he was working on RT. Probably linked to anti-Russia scams.

    • Cynicus

      “Truth still available from some truth seeking people in the USA)” ??

      That publication is as truth-seeking as a Trump tweet.

      • Rowan Berkeley

        @Cynicus, January 11, 2019 at 02:43:

        “That publication is as truth-seeking as a Trump tweet.”

        – I agree. Veterans Today is run by consistently untruthful authors and editors. Gordon Duff is outrageous. I think of the whole stable of them as provocateurs.

  • Mary Paul

    Speaking as an English woman who supports Scottish independence, I have always suspected that my accent alone would make me unwelcome if I lived in some parts of Scotland. I have no idea what sort of reception my ex, who is an unreconstituted working class Londoner (think Roger Daltry of The Who) and washed up in Glasgow some years ago, must get whenever he opens his mouth.

    After some of the comments on here, I am beginning to think that anyone who is not a committed SNP supporter gets short shrift in some quarters. It can get toxic down south between Brexiteers and Remainers but I am guessing it can get equally unpleasant between committeed SNPers and pro-Unionist Scots.

    • Prosdocimus de Beldemandis

      The nationalist minority are extremely obnoxious to anyone who stands up to them, rebuts their lies, or challenges their corruption. And they’re getting nastier as their purchase on power weakens.
      The SNP are Scotland’s shame.

      • King George

        Didn’t the Prime Minister call her own party the conservative and unionist party the nasty party. Never a truer word has been said by a British Nationalist.

    • King George

      Speaking as a Scotsman who lived in England for 7 years and weekly commutes on business to various parts of England from Scotland I have encountered many “a go home to your own country Jock ” from drink fuelled englanders. There are nasty bigots around the world. I thought that was obvious. So what is the point you are making?

    • Fiona Whyte

      I consider that your speculations is rather sad. I am a Londoner, with the usual scent. I have lived in Scotland for 26years. I work in the East end of Glasgow, among other places. I have only ever had 2 person upset me over my English was One who was a rabid football fan who supported ‘Scotland and anyone playing England’
      And the other an anti SNP person when I was canvassing for independence before the referendum. I don’t think that’s too bad in 26 years ?

  • Jo1

    I understand your uncertainty. I will try to be honest in my response.

    It’s not possible to generalise in my answers but you are spot on in some of the things you say. On relations between SNP supporters and supporters of Unionist Parties, you are right. The situation is toxic, the hatred visceral and the vast majority have no interest in consensus politics. When it comes to domestic matters, that is very frustrating. Mostly, at Holyrood, if the SNP say black, the opposition Parties will say white. But when the insults fly both sides of supporters are as bad as each other.

    On anti-English sentiments I would say it’s a mixed bag but mostly I think you’d be welcomed. There is a belief being peddled that English born residents in Scotland cost the independence side victory in the referendum. I don’t accept that argument. The most passionate NO people I know are Scots born. But a number of English friends who live here voted YES, as I did. In my family circle, we had 7 for NO and 8 for YES. All Scots born.

    On top of all that – and this could only happen in Scotland – we’ve even had support, or not, for independence being decided according to which half of Glasgow’s two main football teams you support! (Yes, really!).

    All of this is certainly not helped by a Scottish media that is rabidly anti-SNP. That situation would merit a documentary on its own for the Scottish broadcasting and print media have a great deal to answer for in deliberately creating such a cauldron. Because sensible political debate died with it in many ways along with balance in news reporting.

    Look at this court ruling on Salmond, MaryPaul. The most senior Civil Servant in Scotland has been exposed as having overseen an investigation which a judge slammed as, “unfair, unlawful and tainted with bias”. One would expect the Scottish media, as a body, to be up in arms, demanding her head on a plate. One would expect every Party in the Scottish Parliament to be demanding answers. Not a bit of it. The judge’s damning assessment doesn’t matter. They want to investigate Nicola Sturgeon instead! Welcome to what passes for politics in Scotland these days.

    • kathy

      52.7% of Scots-born people voted for independence in 2014. That is not just a belief but factual and widely reported in the media at the time You can’t argue with facts.

      • Jo1

        I would argue with the abuse hurled around that “non-Scots” and “self-loathers” cost us our independence Kathy. The vote went 55% to 45% for NO. I was disappointed but I don’t go around blaming certain groups within the electorate for it. That won’t persuade NOs to vote YES next time. I voted yes at 56 but have also had to listen to younger people claiming my age group were to blame too! I know loads of folk of my age who voted YES but you can’t argue wi’ these folk wi’ their “facts”!

  • William Prentice

    The only reason Nicola Sturgeon did not ask for the resignation of these two Civil Servants and further expressed her full confidence in them is she was aware of and involved in the process at an early stage therefore she had something to hide which was to her detriment.
    I am a member of the SNP and donate £10 per month by way of direct debit. On hearing immediately after the Judges Comments that she had stated that support for the pair who, according to the Judge had acted ‘unlawfully, unfairly and with an element of bias I immediately cancelled that monthly direct debit and informed the SNP that I was considering leaving the party.

    • Jo1

      Your decision William. I’m not a member of the SNP.

      I think Sturgeon has had a car crash of a week with the point of impact being FMQs yesterday when she essentially allowed the insufferable Jackson Carlaw to, essentially, interrogate her. Then even Richard Leonard got the better of her and just about had her caving in to cooperate with a Parliamentary Inquiry….only the Inquiry they want isn’t into the conduct of the Permanent Secretary… they’re going after Sturgeon. I do not know what has gone on behind the scenes but when the FM backs a senior Civil Servant whose investigation has just been panned by a judge as unlawful, unfair and tainted with bias… something stinks.

    • Joan Savage

      William, if I heard the same speech from Nicola Sturgeon, it was my understanding that she was apologising to the complainants not the civil servants, and that this was because the process had not allowed their complaint to be fully investigated. Actually I was annoyed at her for not including Alex Salmond within her apology, however she was not expressing support for the civil servants.

      • Jo1

        No, Joan, she backed the civil servants. Definitely. She attempted to water down the judge’s ruling too which I thought was extraordinary.

        You’re right that she apologised only to the complainants but not to Salmond. Another bad move.

  • exiled off mainstreet

    Salmond should clean the augean stables by making an effort to return to the leadership of the party and a more credible independence effort. It looks like the same professional feminist phony allegation gig the power structure used on Assange and elsewhere. Sturgeon seems like an appropriately tame identity politics feminist in the yankee and controlled EU pockets. It is the ultimate divide and rule to make any kind of interaction between the sexes the subject of witchhunt frauds like the people mentioned. Also, the sociological jargon bullshit is so typical of the politically correct identity politics rubbish so characteristic of the 21st century.

      • Joan Savage

        He resigned in order to avoid the media conflating the accusations against him with the Party. I have no doubt that he will return to SNP membership once he is cleared. However, we all know the strategy that’s being employed in order to temporarily exclude him from the debate, and…. clearly to try to destroy Nicola Sturgeon. I have been in no doubt about the partiality of the Civil Service since it was established that a Civil Servant made false statements about a conversation between the First Minister and the French Embassador subsequently used by Alistair Carmichael to discredit her.

        • Jo1

          I have to say though Joan, Nicola hasn’t half given them a lot of help! She’s made a real mess of this.

  • Liz Thomson

    I have known Leslie Evans for more than 40 years since we were students together. I’m not Scottish and live in London. All I can say is that she is a person of great probity and general decency. To label her ‘disgusting’ is an outrage.

    • Jo1

      I have commented widely on this court ruling. I believe I have been fair. I don’t know your friend Leslie Evans but I would direct you to the court judgement of her handling of this case. The ruling stated, very clearly, that the process applied was “unlawful, unfair and tainted with bias”.

      You are more than qualified to vouch for her as a friend but no more than that.

    • King George

      Always good that a friend stands up for another friend.

      However, people who are not friends will look at the facts. She is either very incompetent or naive or both or part of a stitch up. Both characterisations mean she should not be Scotlands top civil servant. If she has had an involvement in the illegal leaks then she will face criminal charges herself.

      The judge says it was unlawful and tainted by bias. The whole thing stinks of a stitch up. The only information outstanding is who was involved in the stitch up. Salmond will get this information out in the public domain.

  • Iain Hall

    As usual the brilliant Craig Murray puts into words of commendable clarity what so many of us have been suspecting strongly since this sorry episode, so invaluable to the unionist cause, first suddenly appeared in the delighted media.

  • Prosdocimus de Beldemandis

    There’s an agreeable sense that this story will involve the permanent ruin of both salmond and sturgeon. What more agreeable way to start the year.

    • King George

      So says a British Nationalist confirming the motivation behind it. Thanks for that contribution. Nasty despicable people will do anything to prevent Scotland becoming a NORMAL independent country and they are British Nationalists.

      • Prosdocimus de Beldemandis

        I merely reflect the detestation that two thirds of Scotland feels for the odious SNP and its squalid supporters. You nationalists wrote the book on nasty and despicable, and at the next parliamentary elections we will annihilate you.

  • King George

    There has been an attempted coup being carried out since 2014 to remove the democratically elected Scotgov. The Salmond case is part of the overall picture. Scotland legally and technically is an equal partner with England in the Union. In practical terms it is treated as a colony by Westminster. The Salmond case is just part of Westminster’s actions to try to keep Scotland as a colony and continue to help itself to Scotland’s resources e.g. Clair Ridge.

    • Prosdocimus de Beldemandis

      Preening twaddle.
      The Scottish “parliament” is merely a local authority by another name. It’s time we had a referendum on getting rid of it.

  • Elizabeth Findlay

    As a former civil servant myself who served on the Civil Service Appeal Board for 6 years I guessed immediately that Leslie Evans and Judith Mackinnon had not come up through the ranks in the normal way otherwise they would have known that in the civil service PROCEDURES are everything. I have seen official sides lose to the appelant because they had not carried out the correct procedures. I think that Nocola was also unaware of this and Alec had been trying to put her in the picture to no avail.

    • Jo1

      Same here Elizabeth. As a former Civil Servant myself I was aghast on hearing the ruling by the judge. That Evans has come out and watered the judgement down – and the Scottish media has let her away with that – beggars belief.

      In any investigation fairness must be paramount. For such a senior Civil Servant to escape censure for interference in the process cannot be acceptable. It brings the whole process into disrepute and undermines it.

  • ADKC

    This whole thing, which involves both Salmon and Sturgeon, is an absolute disaster for Scottish independence. It will roll on and on for months and months. The next election, which will come soon, will see the total evaporation of the 2015 landslide.

    It is an obvious stitch-up by UK, but to stand any chance Salmon and Sturgeon need to show they are really united and call this out. But they won’t (fake unity won’t do), so independence is dead for a generation.

  • Graham Ennis

    What has happened here is tragic. For Scotland!. It has shown that when push comes to shove, Sturgeon has not got the steel backbone that is required in such situations. Instead of showing off her nice, twee, middle class manners, she should have done what Mary Queen of Scots would do, (see the movie). If this is how she behaves in a small crisis, (Yes, it is small, its a political squabble, not a large crisis) I have to say that in the forthcoming Scottish emergency, after BREXIT, if it turns out the way most are expecting, then she will not have the steel nerves required to cope with it. That will result in disaster. This was a test of her ability to cope in a crisis. She failed. Too much middle class “NIceness” instead of the needed “McStalinism”. Some of her Cabinet are even worse. So the future is potentially a disaster for Scotland, if there is a crisis and post BREXIT emergency situation emerges. What a tragedy. I fear the worst. This is critical for the future survival of Scotland, and she was not up to it. Enough is enough. Salmond has to force his way back into a seat and get back in Holyrood.

  • Nicholas Lee

    I take it that the vendetta against Alex Salmond has nothing to do with his regular appearance on Russia Today?

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