So why exactly did Alex Salmond miss Any Questions?

A bit of intrigue never goes amiss on a Saturday afternoon.

Last night, Alex Salmond missed Any Questions because, according to Jonathan Dimbleby at 1 minute 50 in: “apparently been held up in Scotland by the floods.” Certainly his Gordon constituency has been badly affected by some awful flooding in the north east of Scotland. In fact, Lib Dem MSP for North East Scotland Alison McInnes has been scathing about the SNP Government’s slow response, saying:

Here in the north-east local agencies have faced a prolonged battle against the rising water and staff and residents are exhausted. I do worry we haven’t seen the last of the bad weather but everyone has rallied together to support one another and the examples of community spirit have been heartening to see at such a difficult time.

Lessons need to be learnt on what’s happened in Scotland since the start of 2016 because I still think this response took place at a snail’s pace. The Scottish Government cannot keep forgetting that its responsibility is to the whole of Scotland, not just the central belt.

Salmond’s reason for missing Any Questions is kind of interesting. Especially seeing as he was in Westminster, outside Portcullis House at 1pm yesterday. How do we know this? Because he was spotted by our Party President:

He certainly was back in the constituency later on that evening, tweeting just before 3:

But why not just tell that to Any Questions? Everyone would have understood that he needed to be back home. Maybe he did and they got it wrong, but it certainly looks odd. Maybe someone should ask him. Is he on the radio any time soon….?

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • So can I get this straight? Alex Salmond was in his constituency on the evening of Friday 8 May talking to people affected by the floods. Any Questions goes out live on Friday night. So AQ saying that he was in his constituency was right. The LDs then base a SNPbad story on their President having seen AS in Westminster at lunchtime on Friday. Presumably AS got a.flight back to Aberdeen in the afternoon. Did anybody at LDV think to check this before demanding an explanation of something which doesn’t seem to need explaining g.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 9th Jan '16 - 5:05pm

    The post says he was back in Inverurie, but AQ suggested that he had been held up in Scotland by the floods, not that he had gone back there to talk to his constituents.

    There’s just a discrepancy there that is easily explained – either Alex Salmond’s people told AQ that he had been held up in Scotland, or AQ got it wrong and should have said that he’d gone back home.

    There’s no problem with him being back in the constituency – he’s needed there and it’s good to see that after a week of hell for the locals, the SNP Government is finally doing something to help, just in time for Nicola’s visit today.

  • Anne Cunningham 10th Jan '16 - 9:43am

    I’m not sure who really cares but let’s look at this:

    The facts are that there are floods in Aberdeenshire. Aberdeen Airport was closed for a while. Salmond had been booked for AQ in Surrey, backed out, and a replacement was found. He was seen in the HoC at lunchtime on Friday and in his constituency by the evening. JD knew his absence had something to do with the floods and said so.

    Yet this has been blown up into another jibe at Salmond just for the sake of it and makes the Lib Dems look very petty and silly.

    This is almost as bad as complaining about him not being in the Commons for Cameron’s statement on Syria when he would have spoken against how the Lib Dems were told to vote the following week!

    What amuses me about this one is the whereabouts of Salmond at lunchtime on Friday. He was at work!

  • Anne Cunningham 10th Jan ’16 – 9:43am………. He was seen in the HoC at lunchtime on Friday and in his constituency by the evening. JD knew his absence had something to do with the floods and said so…………..Yet this has been blown up into another jibe at Salmond just for the sake of it and makes the Lib Dems look very petty and silly…………

    Quite so. Had Salmond attended AQ, I’m sure we would have read, “Alex Salmond ignores severe flooding in his Gordon constituency to appear on AQ”….

    On a weekend when it appears that two thirds of Tory MPs ‘want out of Europe’ we have time to play semantics over a brief statement from a talk show host….

  • Yes in my experience, you can explain perfectly clearly what the position is and yet, in true Chinese Whispers style, the recipient will mishear or change it to what they think the position is. It’s easily done ” Alex Sammond won’t be on AQ because his constituency is flooded” translated to ” AS stuck in floods in his constituency” . Honestly I don’t think there is anything to see here.

    Maybe a separate thread on the SNPs response to the floods?

  • with the SNP on 59% and the Lib Dems on 4% it is clear that the public think a lot more of the SNP than the Lib Dems. There is a chance that after May the Lib Dems won’t have to worry about what their MSPs are doing because there won’t be any.

    JD said El Presidente was held up in his constituency because possibly all he knew was that he was there and did not know he had been working in London earlier in the day.

    As a matter of interest what were the 8 Lib Dem MPs doing on friday afternoon and evening. Perhaps being a Lib Dem means that the Lib Dem President is not used to seeing politicians in Westminster on a friday.

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