- 13 Oct 2020
Date received: 19 Sep 2020
Date responded: 8 Oct 2020
(1) In the light of the apparent admission to Sky News, does the Scottish Government wish to reconsider its reply of 3 August to the question of whether the First Minister met with Geoff Aberdein on 29 March 2018? Did she in fact do so?
(2) If so, who else, if anyone, was present at this meeting?
(3) If not, is Sky News mistaken/lying that such an admission was made by a Scottish Government spokesman and what steps have been taken over this misrepresentation by Sky News?
(4) does the Scottish Government wish to reconsider its statement that the First Minister and Mr Aberdein did not discuss the allegations on that date?
(5) If not, please disclose what matters were discussed, or why they cannot be disclosed.
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested. Having conducted appropriate and proportionate searches for information regarding the meeting you refer to, the Scottish Government holds no recorded information within the scope of your request. For clarity, this response (and the response dated 3rd August) is a statement of the information the Scottish Government holds and does not represent any comment on whether any meeting took place. It is therefore incorrect to assert, as you do in your letter, that the Scottish Government’s FOI response of 3rd August provides any commentary on whether a meeting took place.
As a request for information relating to this matter has also been asked under FOISA previously in response to your questions it might be useful to refer you to the response to FOI2020/00022790, specifically the response to question 9 of that request, which can be found on the Scottish Government webpage at;
Although not provided under Freedom of Information legislation, further information has recently been published on the Scottish Parliament website referring to this matter and this may also be helpful to you;
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House