Dunlop Report a “damning indictment of SNP failures” says Baillie

Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie has reacted to the report by Laura Dunlop QC into the Scottish Government’s handling of harassment complaints. The report set out a series of failings and shortcomings in the policy and procedures adopted by the Scottish Government. Baillie said:

“This review by Laura Dunlop QC is welcome and confirms that the Scottish Government’s sexual harassment policy was not fit for purpose. 

What is truly astonishing is that the SNP government did not take this advice when developing the policy, instead rushing it through. Had they taken professional advice beforehand they might have devised a fairer, more effective policy; they could have avoided an expensive and failed judicial review and – vitally – protected the women involved.  

It is a damning indictment of the SNP and their failure that let women down who complained about the former First Minister. 

The recommendations make it clear that any further complaints of this nature against a former minister must be managed independently and separate from those with any prior interest with any of the parties. The Scottish Government must now implement these recommendations, and ensure that such an expensive and damaging fiasco will never happen again by putting a robust policy in place for the future.”  

The Dunlop Report can be read in full here:
Review of the Scottish Government procedure for handling harassment complaints involving current or former Ministers

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6 thoughts on “Dunlop Report a “damning indictment of SNP failures” says Baillie

  1. Worth remembering: the women had their day in court and the accused was acquitted.

    1. “The women had their day in court”? Ugh.

      Salmond was acquitted of all charges of criminality, I don’t think anyone is in any doubt about that. Too many people, however, seem to think that that means what they complained of didn’t happen. These are not the same thing.

      1. Alex Salmond was accused of attempted rape. Are you seriously suggesting Alex Salmond, whilst he was First Minister of Scotland, attempted to rape someone? Not Guilty means Not Guilty. End of.

      2. Hi Duncan, I beg to differ – the versions the women described in court would have amounted to criminality. (Otherwise the defence would have successfully moved for acquittal on the basis of ‘No case to answer.) The court did not find any charge proved so we can conclude that the evidence was either insufficient, not sufficiently credible, or a mixture of both.

        1. I’m not sure why you’ve described that as differing, Jim. You haven’t disagreed with what I said and I don’t disagree with what you’ve said. Insufficiency of evidence, or the court not finding evidence credible, are not the same thing as saying what the women complained of didn’t happen.

  2. That is correct Duncan but we have to accept that judgement without further evaluation. I for one have no idea what was or wasn’t presented at court I only know the charges, the outcome and some of the reporting. The problem is that due to the high profile of Alex Salmond the public discourse still continues to orbit this particular incident. The Dunlop Report is the review of a flawed procedure and it should be read with that in mind. The key issue (I have only read the Executive Summary) seems to centre around the issue of neutrality and, no one can really say what effect that might have had on the case in question except for the outcome we witnessed. However, one cannot deny that a lack of neutrality can only be deleterious to the process, affecting the rights of both complainer and accused. There is too much emotion and subjectivity in our conversations these days when we should try to use reason and objectivity to guide our wisdom. I can only say that the flaws in the process should have been seen from the start by the professionals involved and that by continuing in the procedure they were incompetent.

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