Nicola Sturgeon secretly changes Holyrood speech record after lying about renewable energy

Nicola Sturgeon secretly changes Holyrood speech record after lying about renewable energy

Updated: 3 months, 1 day, 19 hours, 38 minutes, 49 seconds ago

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Nicola Sturgeon has come under fire after secretly altering an official record of her Holyrood speech after being caught out lying about renewable energy.

The First Minister was one of three key SNP figures found to have made misleading statements about Scotland's energy capabilities.

She told the Scottish Parliament on September 29 that “under this government, we have a position where our net energy consumption is already provided by renewable energy sources”.

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Fact check service Full Fact said that this was not correct. The Scottish Government's own statistics show that in 2020 just over 25 per cent of Scotland's total energy consumption came from renewables.

And when the government was asked to justify the First Minister's comments in a freedom of information request they claimed that she had "identified the error in her contribution" and corrected the official Holyrood record.

Nicola Sturgeon is under fire for a claim on renewable energy

They had changed the original statement to instead say: "Under this government, the equivalent of 98.8 per cent of our gross electricity consumption is already provided by renewable energy sources."

This was revealed by Sam Taylor, chief executive of pro-UK think tank These Island, who slated the SNP for engaging "in a systematic campaign of misinformation."

He wrote on Twitter: "Remarkable FOI response here. Scot Gov admits it cannot justify a statement made by Sturgeon at FMQs recently, because the statement wasn’t true. Sturgeon has quietly corrected the Official Report.

"But the correction is a bait and switch. Her original statement gave the impression that Scotland’s electricity consumption is entirely renewable. But the correction sneaks in a critical word - *equivalent* - which completely changes the meaning of what was said.

"It’s obvious what is going on here. Senior SNP politicians have been engaged in a systematic campaign of misinformation: trying to confuse voters into believing that Scotland can meet demand entirely from its own renewable electricity.

"In fact, recent revisions to Scot Gov data show that Scottish renewable generation was capable of meeting Scottish demand just 37.8% of the time in 2021."

He then points to both Deputy First Minister John Swinney and Westminster leader Ian Blackford making similar misleading statements about renewable energy as well.

Mr Swinney told BBC Scotland's the Nine that "we’ve now got 100% self-sufficiency in our electricity requirements from renewables.”

Meanwhile, Mr Blackford told the House of Commons that "almost 100 per cent of our electricity comes from renewables". Both of these statements were found to be misleading by Full Fact.

Mr Taylor added: "I could go on, but you get the picture. These are not inadvertent slips. The SNP is institutionally dishonest on this issue, and voters are entitled to wonder why they are being systematically lied to."

The changed statement

Scottish Lib Dem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton criticised the Scottish Government for how they handled the misleading statement. He said: "This is not how the Ministerial Code is supposed to work. Ministers who mislead parliament must say so in parliament, even the First Minister."

Scottish Tory MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston added: "Well done to @staylorish for exposing this. @NicolaSturgeon and other senior SNP figures have been knowingly and purposefully misleading on Scotland’s renewables usage."

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