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Former First Ministers to discuss intergovernmental relations with Scottish Affairs Committee in 2024

9 January 2024

All living former First Ministers of Scotland - Nicola Sturgeon, Alex Salmond, Jack McConnell and Henry McLeish - have agreed to give oral evidence to the Scottish Affairs Committee as part of its ongoing inquiry into intergovernmental relations. 

The inquiry, named Intergovernmental Relations: 25 years since the Scotland Act 1998, is looking closely at the structures which underpin relations between the UK and Scottish Governments, including the new IGR framework introduced in 2022. 

In sessions due to take place in the first half of 2024, MPs will have the chance to question Nicola Sturgeon, Alex Salmond, Jack McConnell and Henry McLeish on their experiences of intergovernmental relations between Edinburgh and London during each of their tenures as First Minister.  

The witnesses led the Scottish Government during significant political events, including the 2014 independence referendum and the UK’s exit from the EU. The Committee will also be taking evidence from a number of former Secretaries of State for Scotland who have held the post since 1998.  

So far, the inquiry has received written evidence from Tony Blair and Lord David Cameron, as well as hearing from former UK Government ministers and senior civil servants to assess whether the intergovernmental processes have delivered on the aspirations of politicians in 1998. 

The Committee also questioned leading academics at the University of Glasgow and University of Stirling for their expert views on whether current intergovernmental processes are working effectively. 

Alex Salmond will be questioned by the Committee on Monday 19 February. The date of the other former First Ministers’ appearances will be confirmed in due course. 

Chair comment

Chair of the Scottish Affairs Committee, Pete Wishart, said: 

“It’s a clear demonstration of the importance of this work that all living former Scottish First Ministers have agreed to appear in front of the Committee as part of the inquiry into relations between the UK and Scottish governments since 1998. 

"Given that we will hear from all living former First Ministers of Scotland, we will be inviting all former UK Prime Ministers who have been in power since the implementation of the Scotland Act to appear in front of the Committee. I sincerely hope they will match the commitment of their Scottish Government counterparts and accept our invitation.”

Further information

Image credit: Elspeth Keep/UK Parliament