Salmond and Sturgeon must stop ‘knocking hell out each other in public’

Former Scottish National Party leader and former First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond is sworn i

Former SNP leader and former first minister of Scotland Alex Salmond is sworn in before giving his evidence to the Holyrood committee investigating the handling of harassment allegations against him - Credit: POOL/AFP via Getty Images

A former first minister for Scotland has said Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond must stop “knocking hell out of each other in public”.

Labour’s Henry McLeish said there is “no serious path” to the current first minister’s resignation.

McLeish told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme: “The first minister, I think, has rebutted most of the challenges, the assertions, the allegations that have been made.

“In my view, there is no serious path to the first minister either resigning or suffering with a vote of no confidence in the parliament.

“What we should be doing now is for both the committee of inquiry at Holyrood and the separate inquiry into the breach of the ministerial code to be completed as soon as possible, get on with the election and get Scotland back to some normality.

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“That’s a long shot in a way but we can’t continue to see two distinguished, prestigious people knocking hell out each other in public – that’s got to be left behind.

“I hope at the end of all of this the parliament and the government learn lessons. That’s the important thing. There are reforms required and that should be the first priority after we get this initial mess sorted out.”

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McLeish became first minister in 2000 but had to resign the position just over a year later having become embroiled in an expenses row about a failure to declare subletting a floor in his Glenrothes office – dubbed Officegate.

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