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Former SNP justice minister calls for ‘a reckoning’ after Salmond cleared

SNP MP Kenny MacAskill says some in the party have acted ‘despicably’

THE SNP’s former justice minister called for resignations in the party today following the end of Alex Salmond’s trial this week. 

Sitting SNP MP Kenny MacAskill said "a reckoning there must be" after Mr Salmond was cleared of 13 charges, including attempted rape and sexual assault, at the High Court in Edinburgh on Monday.

Mr MacAskill, who served under the former SNP leader in Holyrood, said the resignations should take place "quietly under the cover of coronavirus," suggesting some had acted in an underhand manner. 

"There do need to be resignations within the SNP. A few have acted despicably and many of us feel a breach of trust,” he wrote in The Scotsman.

"For whom do these individuals work and for what purpose are they acting?

"They cannot remain and a few others now face question marks over why they are in the positions they hold, as it certainly hasn't been on ability."

The former minister’s claim comes as others within the SNP called for Mr Salmond’s membership to be reinstated. 

MSP Alex Neil said he would welcome the return of the former party leader to Holyrood if he decided to stand again in next year's election.

Speaking to the Daily Record, the former minister described Mr Salmond as a "political heavyweight," claiming he would improve Holyrood's reputation.

Mr Neil said: "I do not see why Alex should not be back in the party. He was acquitted of all charges. 

“The SNP cannot ignore someone of his talents and achievements.”

MP Joanna Cherry has also said Mr Salmond should be readmitted into the party he left after the allegations were made in 2018 "without delay."

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