Former Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael has admitted he leaked a controversial memo of a conversation between Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and the French Ambassador.
The memo suggested that the First Minister told the ambassador that she secretly wanted David Cameron to remain Prime Minister, something that contradicted repeated statements she had made during the recent election campaign.
Mr Carmichael, who was Secretary of State for Scotland until the election, accepted “the details of the account are not correct” and said he made an error of judgement. The Liberal Democrat, who is now the party’s only MP in Scotland, said that if he were still in government he would consider this a resigning matter. He will, instead, refuse his ministerial severance package.
The official inquiry into the leak has now concluded, finding that Carmichael’s special advisor, Euan Roddin, leaked the memo to the Daily Telegraph, but he had his boss’s permission.
The inquiry found that Roddin’s official phone had been used to call a Telegraph journalist and that Carmichael “could and should have stopped the sharing of the memo”.
Mr Carmichael has now written to Ms Sturgeon and the French Ambassador to apologise, calling the incident a “breach of protocol”.