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Salmond inquiry: Maureen Watt voted against her own plan

Maureen Watt MSP.

A north-east MSP voted against her own proposal at a meeting of the Holyrood committee investigating the handling of allegations against Alex Salmond.

Maureen Watt, the SNP representative for Aberdeen South and North Kincardine, has  declined to comment on her move at a private meeting of the high-profile inquiry.

On Wednesday night, MSPs on the committee again voted by five to four against publishing part of Mr Salmond’s written testimony to the probe, with a majority saying a recent legal ruling had “no impact” on their decision.

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Parliament said Ms Watt subsequently proposed that the matter be referred to the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB) for a final decision.

However, the long-serving MSP was also recorded as being one of three members who voted against her motion, with six in favour.

Maureen Watt inquiry
Alex Salmond leaves the High Court in Edinburgh after he was cleared of all charges.

‘Talking in circles’

One committee source said the MSPs had been “talking in circles for a while” and “I think she was just keen to move things along”.

After the motion was successful, the SPCB met on Thursday morning to consider whether the evidence should be published.

Mr Salmond is understood to be willing to appear before the committee next week if the document is released.

Following the meeting on Thursday morning, a Scottish Parliament spokesman said the SPCB  would “reconvene this afternoon once members have had the opportunity to consider more fully the substantial material submitted to it” by the committee.

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