Salmond faces inquiry after claims SNP ministers are misleading parliament

AN INVESTIGATION into allegations that ministers are misleading the Scottish Parliament has been ordered by the Presiding Officer, Alex Fergusson.

The unprecedented inquiry follows repeated complaints that First Minister Alex Salmond and his ministerial team are not always telling the truth.

In another clash in Holyrood yesterday, Mr Salmond refused to apologise after he was accused of misleading parliament last week by the Liberal Democrat leader Tavish Scott.

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"I want us to be able to demonstrate the highest standards of probity, scrutiny and accountability," Mr Fergusson said. Both Labour and the Lib Dems have compiled dossiers listing alleged ministerial "mistruths".

The inquiry, conducted by the Standards Committee, will examine procedures on how to tackle such complaints and consider the problem of long "vexatious" points of order from opposition members, as well as the Presiding Officer's inability to force ministers to apologise.

Last night Mr Salmond welcomed the inquiry, and referred a row which began last week over the Inter Faith Council to George Reid and Lord Steel, the former parliamentary presiding officers, to independently scrutinise matters relating to the ministerial code.

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