POLITICS

Bill Walker, Scottish MSP Convicted Of Domestic Violence, Should Quit, Says Alex Salmond

22/08/2013 16:23 BST | Updated 22/08/2013 16:26 BST
PA
Bill Walker, 71, arriving at Edinburgh Sheriff Court where he was convicted of a series of domestic abuse offences against his three ex-wives.

Alex Salmond has said a Scottish politician should quit after being convicted of a string of domestic abuse offences.

The First Minister said Bill Walker, 71, was "not fit to be a public representative" after being convicted of "extremely serious offences".

He was one of a number of politicians who called on Walker to resign as MSP for Dunfermline.

The independent MSP was convicted of 24 charges spanning almost three decades following a trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

Walker, who lives in Alloa, Clackmannanshire, carried out the attacks against his three ex-wives and a stepdaughter between 1967 and 1995.

The former SNP MSP, who was ejected from the party when the allegations surfaced, had denied the charges but was convicted after a two-week trial.

Salmond said: "Mr Walker has been convicted of extremely serious offences.

"Although he has yet to be sentenced, in my view someone convicted of these offences is not fit to be a public representative and therefore he should stand down from the Scottish Parliament and allow the people of Dunfermline to elect a new MSP."

The SNP leader added that Walker was expelled from the party in April last year, and said: "His conviction by a court of law reinforces his expulsion."

The law says that any elected member jailed for more than a year will be disqualified from being a member of the Scottish Parliament.

Claire Baker, Labour MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, said: "Whatever sentence is handed down by the court, the Scottish Parliament cannot have a member who has been convicted of 23 counts of domestic abuse.

"Bill Walker should stand down now. His vile conduct over many years will disgust Scots and shames the Scottish Parliament.

"I would like to commend the bravery of his victims who were prepared to relive the pain of many years so that justice could be done."

A Scottish Conservative spokesman said: "It's astonishing the SNP thought this man was fit to be an MSP after Nicola Sturgeon's office was informed of a number of allegations against him."

Walker will be sentenced on September 20.