Page last updated at 17:19 GMT, Tuesday, 23 October 2012 18:19 UK

Scottish Parliament

First Minister Alex Salmond denied lying about whether his government obtained legal advice on an independent Scotland's potential membership of the European Union, during a reply to a point of order on 23 October 2012.

Mr Salmond was responding to a point of order from Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie earlier in the day.

Mr Rennie said the Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's assertion that the process of seeking specific legal advice on an independent Scotland's status was in fact only beginning now, meant that either she or the first minister was misleading the parliament or the Scottish people.

During the afternoon opposition parties accused Mr Salmond of lying in a BBC interview in March when he appeared to agree that he had sought legal advice from his law officers about EU membership.

Asked in the interview whether he had sought such advice, Mr Salmond replied "We have, yes, in terms of the debate."

Mr Salmond told MSPs he had been speaking in general terms and said his remarks on the Sunday Politics programme referred to legal advice about previously published government documents and publications.

He said the full transcript of the interview would be placed in SPICE and called on those who had made accusations about him lying, to have the "courtesy and integrity to withdraw them".

Mr Rennie said raised a further point of order insisting the first minister had not cleared up the matter

Scottish Labour MSP Paul Martin, who had issued a press release calling the first minister a "bare faced liar" refused to retract his statement and called for a debate on the issues at the "earliest opportunity".

At decision time the motion from the debate on the media and criminal trials debate was unanimously agreed to.

Story Tools


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific