Salmond rejects calls to quit as MP
Alex Salmond has come under renewed pressure to stand down as a Westminster MP.
The Conservatives claim the SNP leader’s voting record at Westminster shows he treats his constituents “with contempt”.
Figures published by the Scottish Conservatives show Mr Salmond has attended Westminster to vote twice since being elected to the Scottish parliament in May.
Mr Salmond has taken part in four of 149 Westminster votes, three of which took on the same day.
The SNP has denied the suggestion that Mr Salmond is neglecting his constituents in Banff and Buchan as he focuses on leading the Scottish executive.
Murdo Fraser, deputy leader of the Scottish Conservatives, nevertheless called on Mr Salmond to resign as an MP now, rather than wait until the next general election as promised.
Mr Fraser told the BBC: “The current situation will mean that, for up to three years, Alex Salmond will be doing three jobs at once.
“He simply is not doing the job of [a] member of parliament for Banff and Buchan. It’s inconceivable that he can carry on like this.
“Alex Salmond needs to step down, so there can be a by-election and Banff and Buchan can have a full-time MP again.
“To do otherwise is treating his constituency with contempt.”
Mr Salmond was elected to represent Banff and Buchan in Westminster in 1987. In May this year he was also elected to Holyrood as an MSP for Gordon.
His decision to remain an MP while also serving as first minister has provoked controversy since the SNP’s election win, with Labour and the Liberal Democrats calling on him to stand down from Westminster.
The SNP firmly deny the claims Mr Salmond has neglected his constituents, however, insisting their MPs only vote on issues with Scottish significance at Westminster.
Furthermore, the party maintains there is a “clear advantage” in Scotland having a first minister who can “make key interventions at Westminster on Scotland’s behalf.”
An SNP spokesman continued: “There is much more to being an MP than trooping the lobbies at Westminster, as is shown in the latest available league table for MPs’ participation.
“Encompassing speeches in the chamber, tabling of motions and submitting written and oral questions, the analysis shows all six SNP MPs, including Mr Salmond, are in the top ten of Scottish MPs.”