Jacob Rees-Mogg has mocked the testimony of Nicola Sturgeon’s husband to the Salmond inquiry, claiming Peter Murrell’s version of events is “improbable”.
Evidence from Mr Murrell, the SNP chief executive, has been seized upon this week by opposition MSPs investigating the botched government probe into complaints against former first minister Alex Salmond.
Mr Murrell, who has been married to Ms Sturgeon since 2010, was quizzed about meetings held in 2018 between his wife and Mr Salmond in the couple’s home.
Although Mr Murrell said he had a “sense” the meetings were about something serious, he told a Holyrood inquiry Ms Sturgeon did not reveal what had been discussed.
Mr Murrell, who has been party chief executive since 2000, said: “When you are married to the first minister, who is privy to lots of information, when she says she can’t talk about something, you don’t continue to say, ‘ah, but…’
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“It just doesn’t happen. She has been a minister for a long time, and works very hard every day, and every weekend, and when we get precious time together, the last thing we want to be doing is rerunning days with each other, or whatever.
“So when she says that she can’t talk about something, that is the end of it and we move on to something else.”
‘It seems improbable’
Mr Rees-Mogg, speaking in the Commons, disputed the claims.
He said: “What do we have? The chief executive of the SNP, when he’s at home, never talks about politics with the first minister; no, of course not.
“He only talks about cooking. Well, it makes it sound as if his household is even more old fashioned than mine, because I must confess that in the Rees-Mogg household we spend a lot of time talking about politics.
“I must confess, it seems improbable that such a highly politicised family never talk about such interesting things.
“I think Scotland are starting to see through the SNP.”