A FORMER Labour first minister says Nicola Sturgeon “has rebutted” most of the allegations made against her by Alex Salmond.

Henry McLeish said there was no “serious path” towards the FM’s resignation, but the pair had to “stop knocking the hell out of each other”.

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Speaking on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme, McLeish said the harassments complaints process casts a shadow over the Scottish Government and gives Westminster “to make mischief at Scotland’s expense”.

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“The First Minister, I think has rebutted most of the challenges, the assertions, the allegations that have been made, and I think it’s important to say in my view, there is no path, no serious path towards her, the First Minister, either resigning or in fact suffering with a vote of no confidence in the parliament,” McLeish said.

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

The National:

Alex Salmond gave evidence last week

“That’s a long shot in a way, but on the other hand, we can’t continue to see two distinguished, prestigious people knocking hell out of each other in public.

“That’s got to be left behind, but I hope at the end of all of this, the Parliament 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.”

Giving evidence at the Scottish Parliament committee inquiry into the Scottish Government’s botched investigation into allegations of sexual harassment against him last week, Alex Salmond said there was “no doubt” his successor as first minister broke the ministerial code but stopped short of saying she should resign.

The National:

Appearing before the committee on Wednesday, Sturgeon rejected his accusations and said she felt “let down” by his “absurd” claims of a plot of SNP figures against him.

The committee was set up after a successful judicial review by Salmond resulted in the Scottish Government’s investigation being ruled unlawful and “tainted by apparent bias”, with a £512,250 payout being awarded to him for legal fees in 2019.

He was acquitted of 13 charges of sexual assault following a criminal trial last year.

A separate inquiry is investigating if Sturgeon breached the ministerial code, which she denies.