Moray MSP Richard Lochhead has been challenged to explain why he voted against publishing legal advice received by the SNP government in the Alex Salmond case.
The SNP were defeated earlier today in Holyrood when the Greens joined the opposition parties in backing a motion from the Scottish Conservatives calling for transparency from the government.
More than £500,000 of public money was spent when the Scottish Government lost a judicial review case on the investigation of allegations against the former First Minister.
Mr Lochhead, who previously worked for Mr Salmond when he as MP for Banff and Buchan, voted against the Scottish Conservative motion along with his SNP MSP colleagues.
The motion was carried by 63 votes to 54, however.
Scottish Conservative MP for Moray Douglas Ross said:
“Richard Lochhead must explain why he has voted against the publication of the legal advice in the Alex Salmond case.
“Surely the public have a right to know exactly what happened in the run-up to the government’s humiliating defeat in the Court of Session?
“More than £500,000 of public money was lost in this debacle. That is taxpayers’ money that could have been invested in our schools and hospitals.
“It has now been confirmed that Scottish Government lawyers knew several months previously that they were going to lose the case, but ministers pressed ahead regardless.
“SNP Ministers have repeatedly demanded that the UK Government publish legal advice and cannot credibly claim that this level of scrutiny should not apply at Holyrood.
“Richard Lochhead and his SNP colleagues should explain why they are so determined to keep this legal advice secret. What do they have to hide?”