Carmichael must abide by his own code
The SNP has today cited a newspaper column written by Alistair Carmichael - where he highlights the need for MPs "to tell the truth" -to abide by his own code and stand down from being the MP for Orkney and Shetland.
The uncovering of this column published in the Shetland Times in 2010 comes as pressure increases on Mr Carmichael to resign, following the revelation on Friday that he was responsible for leaking the false memo about Nicola Sturgeon's conversation with the French Ambassador - and then covered up the truth from the people of Orkney and Shetland until after the general election.
In a further blow it has emerged that the last remaining Lib Dem MP in Scotland also supported an Early Day Motion on the right of recall for MPs who are found guilty of serious wrongdoing to stand down and face a by-election.
Commenting, Mike McKenzie, SNP MSP for the Highlands and Islands, said:
“Just when Mr Carmichael thought things couldn’t get any worse he has been caught in breach of his own code – and this further deepens the credibility crisis he now finds himself in.
“Mr Carmichael’s newspaper column in the Shetland Times, where he cites the dangers of political smears and the need for MPs to be truthful - along with his support for the right of constituents to recall their MP - leaves his position increasingly perilous.
“Mr Carmichael misled his constituents during an election, and the only way that he can relieve the pressure he is under is to stand down.
“There are also questions for Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie and indeed former Lib Dem UK leader Nick Clegg to answer - what did they know, and when did they know it?
“We need to know the answers to these questions - especially now that we know the Lib Dems aren't prepared to take any action at all.
“Had Alistair Carmichael admitted the truth before polling day, he would have been a discredited candidate and the result may well have been different - it's possible he would have gone the same way as every other Lib Dem MP in Scotland and been turfed out by the voters.
"Mr Carmichael's majority plummeted from nearly 10,000 to just over 800, and there appears to be a very strong reaction in Orkney and Shetland against him this weekend. The people in his constituency deserve to know the whole truth, and in my view would be best served by Mr Carmichael standing down."
Danus Skene, SNP candidate for the Northern Isles for the General Election, said that the people of Orkney and Shetland have been left with an MP of questionable integrity.
Mr Skene said:
"Mr Carmichael has now admitted responsibility for the authorisation of the leak. This amounts to an admission that he lied. He could and should have come clean at the time. This would have been before the election, and before the expenditure of time and money pursuing an enquiry to establish the truth.
“As it is, the people of Orkney and Shetland were kept in the dark by a cover-up, and find themselves to have elected an MP of questionable integrity whose standing in the Commons is fatally undermined. We in the Isles cannot consider ourselves to be effectively or honourably represented.
"It is appropriate that Mr Carmichael should be pressed by so many of his constituents to consider whether his career as MP is over. Orkney and Shetland need and deserve effective representation. We have an extensive and distinctive agenda concerning fisheries issues, the future of renewables, transport links and the future of the oil and gas industry. We must also address the challenges faced across the country concerning the need to end the UK Government's failed austerity programme.
"The SNP in the Isles stands ready to contest any new election to select an appropriately focussed MP of integrity. We will present a prospectus that seeks to promote prosperity, fairness, and good government."