The Herald headline today reads:
How does Nicola Sturgeon’s evidence relate to the ministerial code? Legal expert shares analysis.
How’s that for hiding the story?
Anyhow, first, the author Doctor Nick McKerrell makes clear that the problems with the Scottish Government’s ‘catastrophic’ handling of the complaints against Alex Salmond was down to the involvement of the civil servant whom the First Minister, as is proper, did not instruct.
Second, the legal advice did not suggest a ‘doomed case‘ at any point and was followed by the First Minister.
McKerrell notes the First Minister correctly making the point that the Scottish Government had previously pursued the case for minimum pricing in the public interest, against a well-funded legal challenge and had won.
Alongside the more balanced reading of the legal advice, it would suggest that it is difficult to say that the Scottish Government blundered recklessly into the defeat of the court action in January 2019.
So the charges under the ministerial code would be difficult to stick and this explains the confident rebuttal by Nicola Sturgeon.