I have obtained access to all of Stewart McDonald’s emails, after approaching a number of people to find out who might have them. This is something the entire Scottish mainstream media have failed to do.
I had no hand in obtaining the emails nor prior knowledge. I am grateful they have been so generously shared.
I want to reassure Mr McDonald that his hysterical ranting about being hacked by a state intelligence service, when he appears by his own account to have fallen for a phishing scam the average 12 year old would see through, is hilariously wide of the mark.
Who in 2023 enters their login details into a third party website because they receive an email asking them to?
I think Mr McDonald’s credentials as a defence expert and NATO warrior have perhaps taken a hit.
I also want to reassure Mr McDonald that a highly responsible journalistic process will now be undertaken. Nothing will be altered or falsified. Nothing purely personal or about his love life will appear.
In particular, anything related to his constituents will remain absolutely and properly confidential.
If Mr McDonald or the SNP wish to get in touch about other material in the emails which is particularly sensitive for reasons of which we may not be aware, that will be given every consideration.
What will be published is material in which there is a legitimate public interest, relating to interactions with NATO, the British military and MOD, the Integrity Initiative and journalists in that crooked network, parliamentary committees, intelligence agencies, foreign powers, UK government defence institutes and conservative think tanks.
There has been little online support for Mr McDonald – and what there has been is telling
There is much of interest in the cache, including emails direct to and from Nicola Sturgeon, showing the toxic relationships within the SNP group at Westminster, where McDonald regards himself as in a very small minority of Sturgeon loyalists.
It is my hope that all those emails which are in the public interest for the public to know, with redactions if responsibly required, will eventually be published as a cache, so you can make up your own mind about the material.
This is also going to be a very interesting test on journalistic freedom in Scotland and Sturgeon’s iron control over the police and prosecutorial services.
In this context, the fact that I had no connection to, nor prior knowledge of, the materials being obtained is the essential point. My own involvement is purely to have tracked down who had them and then been given access to them, as journalist and publisher.
Doubtless after the usual pressure from Murrell and Robertson, the Lord Advocate will have the Crown Office looking feverishly to find a crime in that before the end of the afternoon.