Online Version of Salmond Interview has Extracts Blacked Out

The online version of an explosive interview involving the First Minister, Alex Salmond, has had some parts 'blacked out'.

The interview – done by the editor of Holyrood Magazine, Mandy Rhodes – included, among other things, Salmond making scathing remarks about The Scotsman newspaper, plus comments about the authority of the London-based Supreme Court over the highest Scottish court.

It also included comments about a human rights lawyer, and it is these that have been blacked out.

Last week, the lawyer, Tony Kelly, was widely reported in the Scottish press seeking legal advice about whether to sue Salmond.

In a statement, Rhodes told allmediascotland: “Following your enquiry about why we have blacked out sections of the online interview with Alex Salmond that we published in Holyrood magazine on June 13th, we have done this as an interim measure while our lawyer responds to matters raised in a letter to us by a legal firm employed by the lawyer, Tony Kelly, about comments we published made by the First Minister about Professor Kelly.”

Update: The Edinburgh Evening News reports: “It has been asked to make an apology, pay expenses, and make a contribution to charity in lieu of damages.

“Mandy Rhodes, editor of Holyrood magazine, said: 'It’s interesting, given the headlines that we had last week about Tony Kelly suing the First Minister, that he’s decided to make this magazine his first port of call. It’s in the hands of our lawyers and that’s where we’ll leave it.

“'I do think it’s interesting that in the context of a whole debate on freedom of expression, that the question has to be ‘was I meant to censor the First Minister’?

“'The point that keeps getting missed in all of this is that there is a big debate to be had about this serious issue of the role of the Supreme Court, but some of the language being used has clouded that and in a way all of this is a bit of a distraction.'”