Nicola Sturgeon is facing 48 critical hours with two potentially career-ending reports expected on Tuesday and a vote of no confidence the next day.
Former first minister Alex Salmond, whose allegations of a conspiracy to put him in the dock has led to claims his successor misled parliament, is also expected to hold a press conference or issue a statement on Wednesday.
The findings of the long-running inquiry into the Scottish government’s unlawful investigation of harassment complaints against Salmond will be published on Tuesday morning. It is expected to conclude Sturgeon gave an “inaccurate” account of meetings with her predecessor as first minister and former mentor, potentially a breach of the ministerial code of conduct that requires resignation.
She has accused the committee of inquiry of being partisan and engaging in party politics. However, a separate investigation by James Hamilton QC into whether Sturgeon broke the code of conduct is also expected to be released on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, the last day of parliament before campaigning for the next Holyrood election, MSPs will vote on a motion of no confidence in the First Minister tabled by the Tories. The Greens have already signalled their support for the SNP leader and she would be expected to secure the backing of most MSPs.
Salmond is also expected to hold a press conference or issue a statement on the findings of the reports.
Lib Dem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “The stakes could not be higher and this could frame the entire election campaign. Whatever the outcome of either report, questions will dog Nicola Sturgeon until polling day.”
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: “By any reasonable measure, Nicola Sturgeon should have done the decent thing and stood down.”
Scottish Labour business manager James Kelly said: “The integrity of the Scottish Parliament is clearly at stake.”
The Scottish government said there has been no indication of the conclusions of the Hamilton report, adding: “The First Minister looks forward to the publication of the findings of James Hamilton’s independent investigation into her adherence to the ministerial code. However, her main focus is on ensuring that the Scottish government is doing everything in its power to protect Scotland from Covid-19 and lay the ground for a robust recovery.”
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