A leaked civil service memo which alleged the Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wanted David Cameron to win the general election was an “accurate” record of a conversation with a French official, an investigation has concluded.
The former Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael admitted he had agreed to leak the memo to a newspaper during the election campaign after his involvement was exposed by a Cabinet Office inquiry. But, significantly, the inquiry concluded that the memo itself was genuine and “an accurate record of the conversation that took place between him (the civil servant) and the French Consul General”.
The note claimed that Ms Sturgeon told French ambassador Sylvie Bermann that she would prefer to see the Conservatives remain in power and that Ed Miliband was not “prime minister material”.
The Cabinet Office investigation concluded that Mr Carmichael “could and should have stopped the sharing of the memo” and added that he “accepts responsibility for what occurred”. Mr Carmichael, who is now Scotland’s only Lib Dem MP after the party lost 10 of its 11 seats north of the border, said that while he had not seen the document before it was published by the Daily Telegraph, he was “aware of its content and agreed that my special adviser [Euan Roddin] should make it public”.
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 stated: “I should not have agreed this. It was an error of judgment which I regret... had I been a government minister, I would have considered this to be a matter that required my resignation so I have informed the Cabinet Secretary that I will decline my ministerial severance payment.”Reuse content