23 May 2012
The Leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Ruth Davidson MSP, has written to the leader of the SNP, Alex Salmond MSP, demanding answers over the expulsion of former SNP member, Bill Walker MSP.
Ruth Davidson has stated now that the SNP deadline to hear Mr Walker’s appeal has passed, the Scottish public need to be reassured that allegations of domestic violence, such as in Mr Walker’s case, are treated seriously by the SNP when selecting candidates for parliament.
Mr Walker’s former brother in law, Rob Armstrong, contacted the party to raise concerns about Mr Walker’s past, which included the existence of legal documents citing allegations of domestic violence.
This was before Mr Walker was selected to stand for parliament.
Initially, the SNP denied this fact, claiming Mr Walker’s meeting was about a separate matter, but was later forced to confirm that this issue was raised and that those concerns were passed onto SNP party headquarters.
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson MSP said:
“Throughout this whole process the SNP has twisted and turned, first claiming no knowledge of allegations surrounding Mr Walker’s past before being forced into admitting such information was indeed received.
“Domestic violence in any form is a serious issue. It is unacceptable to think that such allegations were not taken into account when deciding who is a fit and proper person to stand for parliament.
“Some of the allegations Bill Walker has faced are among the most serious, and clearly deemed severe enough for the SNP to expel him once they came to the public’s attention.
“But why didn’t the party act when similar allegations were brought to the party’s attention several years earlier?
“Mr Walker appealed against his expulsion over a month ago. At that time we were told he had three weeks to prepare a statement ahead of an appeal hearing.
“That deadline has long since passed. Has there been an appeal that the SNP is not telling us about, or is the SNP dragging its feet on this process?
“This is a serious issue that will not go away and Scotland needs answers.”