The FDA has once again come to Permanent Secretary Leslie Evans’s defence after a string of attacks by Alex Salmond.
On 8 January, the former First Minister won a case against the Scottish Government due to a procedural flaw. The investigation into complaints made against him was put aside. During the ensuing press conference, Salmond repeatedly said Evans should “consider her position”.
FDA General Secretary Dave Penman called out this behaviour, noting that it was not the first time Salmond had critiqued the Permanent Secretary for doing her job.
“I think what has been disappointing is the way Alex Salmond has continually targeted Leslie Evans from day one on this case, he's called it the 'Leslie Evans procedure’,” he told BBC Radio Scotland
. “He has always portrayed this as a personal vendetta, even suggesting the civil service was acting without ministerial authority. It was no surprise yesterday that Alex Salmond would therefore call for Leslie Evans's resignation.”
“Confidence in the Permanent Secretary is a matter for the First Minister,” he continued. “I'm sure when Alex Salmond was First Minister that is what he would have said and I don't think anyone could be in any doubt from what Nicola Sturgeon said yesterday that Leslie Evans retains the confidence of the First Minister.”
Penman also called out Salmond’s “narrative” of victimhood in The Times
. “The melodrama cannot distract from the allegations yet to be resolved,” he wrote. “All the court has settled is one procedural point. Mr Salmond’s statement on the steps of that court does not make for a final act.”
Penman’s comments have been featured in The Daily Mail
; The Guardian
; The Daily Echo
; The Herald
; The Scotsman
; The Daily Record
; Yahoo News
and The Belfast Telegraph
. He was also heard on several regional BBC radio shows and appeared on BBC Reporting Scotland.