A Liberal Democrat politician who leaked a sensitive diplomatic memo about a conversation involving Nicola Sturgeon should consider resigning, the Scottish First Minister has said.
Alistair Carmichael, his party’s only remaining MP in Scotland, has admitted ordering his special advisor to leak an account of a conversation between Ms Sturgeon and the French ambassador.
The account, released to the Daily Telegraph newspaper during the general election campaign, was politically sensitive because it suggested that Ms Sturgeon has said David Cameron would be a better prime minister than Ed Miliband.
Both Ms Sturgeon and the French Ambassador deny the second-hand version of events presented in the document.
She said Mr Carmichael should consider his position and that he had only admitted his deed after it was revealed by a Cabinet Office inquiry.
“Mr Carmichael said at the time that the first he was aware of this matter was when he received a call from a journalist, but we now know that this is simply untrue. The false memo was leaked by a special adviser acting under the authority of Mr Carmichael,” she said in a statement.
Best General Election 2015 quotes
Best General Election 2015 quotes
1/10 1. "Am I tough enough? Hell, yes, I'm tough enough."
Ed Miliband bats away suggestions he would be too weak on the international stage. It likely to go down as one of the quotes we remember this election by.
Matthew Lewis/Getty Images
2/10 2. "If I'm getting lively about it, it's because I feel bloody lively about it."
David Cameron attempts to prove how passionate he is about wanting a second term as Prime Minister after Tory donors criticised his lack of enthusiasm.
3/10 3. "Oh it's crats? I thought it was Liberal Demo-cats"
Reality TV star Joey Essex is taught a thing or two during his meeting with Nick Clegg.
4/10 4. "Brain fade"
Green party leader Natalie Bennett gave what was described as the "worst political leader's interview ever" on LBC Radio as she fails to answer how the Greens would pay for its ambitious housing policies.
5/10 5. "We're a shining example of a country where multiple identities work. Where you can be Welsh and Hindu and British, Northern Irish and Jewish and British, where you can wear a kilt and a turban, where you can wear a hijab covered in poppies. Where you can support Man Utd, the Windies and Team GB all at the same time. Of course, I'd rather you supported West Ham"
David Cameron experienced his own brain fade when he forgot which football team he supported.
6/10 6. “This is a real career-defining … country-defining election that we face in less than a week’s time”
The Prime Minister made another gaffe when he made it sound like the election was all about himself.
7/10 7. “Ed Miliband stabbed his own brother in the back to become Labour leader. Now he is willing to stab the United Kingdom in the back to become prime minister.”
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon launched a vicious personal attack on Ed Miliband.
8/10 8. "Ajockalypse Now."
The colourful term used by Boris Johnson to describe a Labour government propped up by the SNP.
JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
9/10 9. “The SNP are openly racist. The anti-English hostility, and the kind of language that is used about and towards English people, is totally extraordinary.”
Nigel Farage launches an attack on Nicola Sturgeon and her SNP party.
10/10 10. "Terms are like Shredded Wheat. Two are wonderful, three might be too many."
David Cameron rules out a third term as Prime Minister.
“He knew all about it, but said in public that he knew nothing until a journalist phoned him. As well as the original dirty trick, which was bad enough, Mr Carmichael then tried to cover it up - and is only admitting it now because he got caught.
Ms Sturgeon concluded: “He needs to seriously reflect on that - and reflect on whether his actions and attempt to cover them up are consistent with his position as an honourable member of the House of Commons.”
Mr Carmichael’s resignation as an MP would trigger a by-election in his Scottish constituency of Orkney and Shetland which could leave his party with zero seats north of the border.
He has a majority of 817, down from 9,928 at the 2010 general election. The seat has been Liberal-held since 1837 apart from a decade in the early 20th century.Reuse content