BBC – The Trial of Alex Salmond (2020)

BBC – The Trial of Alex Salmond (2020)
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Category: Documentary

In March 2020, Scotland’s former first minister Alex Salmond emerges from the High Court in Edinburgh, cleared of 14 charges of sexual misconduct. The verdict concludes one of the most dramatic trials Britain has ever seen.
From the moment the story breaks in the Daily Record in August 2018 to Salmond’s acquittal the very day the UK locks down against Coronavirus, Kirsty Wark follows the ups and downs of a case that has seen tabloid scoops shock the nation and the destruction of one of the strongest political partnerships in modern politics. Along the way, Kirsty traces the origins of the criminal case to the Me Too movement and, for the first time on television, speaks to some of the women at the centre of the trial.

Set in the heart of Edinburgh, with the growing Covid-19 pandemic looming in the background, the film sees Kirsty travelling across Scotland as she follows the trial and interviews the people present at key moments surrounding the political scandal. Talking to Alex Salmond’s former press adviser Campbell Gunn, Kirsty learns that Campbell was ‘stunned’ when he heard the criminal charges against his former boss.

Throughout the film, Kirsty looks back at Alex Salmond’s political career and examines the growing rift between him and his former protege, Nicola Sturgeon. As Salmond prepares to take the stand, these divisions come to the fore, and some of his allies allege that there is a conspiracy at the heart of the Scottish government to stop Salmond returning to politics. Kirsty explores these controversial claims and interviews Nicola Sturgeon, who denies them. Kirsty also reveals how this trial has widened divisions and exposed tensions that threaten to have a huge impact on Scotland’s politics.

Speaking to insiders who witnessed the story as it unfolds, Kirsty reveals the explosive inside story that has seen a man who was once Scotland’s most powerful politician fight for his freedom, and asks what the fallout could mean for the SNP and Scotland’s political future.

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