Scotland's First Minister denies role in honours row

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Indy Politics

Scotland's First Minister, Jack McConnell, has denied any involvement in the cash-for-honours inquiry after he became embroiled in the investigation into the nomination of Lord Boyd of Duncansby for a peerage.

Mr McConnell was interviewed by officers from Scotland Yard last month while he was in London for business meetings.

The First Minister was asked about his role in putting forward Colin Boyd, the Lord Advocate at the time, for a peerage in 2004. As Scotland's top law officer for six years, Lord Boyd sat on Mr McConnell's Cabinet until he stood down in October last year and was nominated, in keeping with previous holders of his position.

Although he was put forward in 2004 the announcement was delayed because of the 2005 general election and he was not ennobled until April 2006 and formally introduced to the House of Lords as Lord Boyd of Duncansby a few months later. It is this honours list which has attracted the attention of police following suggestions that Labour Party supporters were rewarded with titles in exchange for donations.

Mr McConnell said that, while he was "happy to help" the cash-for-honours investigation, he was "disappointed" that, what he saw as a "normal and straightforward nomination", had become caught up in the inquiry.

Last week, the No 10 aide Ruth Turner was arrested in relation to the inquiry.

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