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What’s on today: Nicola Sturgeon faces the music and Rishi Sunak pays out

rishi sunak
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon and Rishi Sunak will play starring roles today in a huge day for both Scottish and UK politics.

The First Minister will appear in front of the Salmond inquiry committee and will face testing questions about her government’s handling of harassment allegations against Alex Salmond.

The Scottish Conservatives have already called for her to resign after legal documents were published last night that said the government was told that they were likely to lose their legal fight with Mr Salmond by their lawyers.

Further evidence from two other witnesses also called into question her version of events, leading to claims that she has misled parliament.

Former first minister Alex Salmond

Ms Sturgeon is up against the biggest threat to her career as she faces the inquiry today at 9am.

You can watch live on Parliament TV, or tune into our live blog.

Speaking on Good Morning Scotland, Scottish Conservatives leader Douglas Ross called the new evidence “devastating” as he continued to call for Ms Sturgeon’s resignation.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross

He said: “This legal evidence is devastating proof that the Scottish Government went against their legal advice and now we have corroboration that Nicola Sturgeon misled parliament.

“She knew about the allegations against Alex Salmond before she said she was aware of them and we now know that the name of one of the complainers was revealed to Alex Salmond’s team.

“It is very clear now that the evidence does not back-up her case in any way and it is more damning than anyone thought it would be.”

Deputy first minister John Swinney refuted these claims later on in the programme.

John Swinney

He said: “In less than an hour, the first minister will get her evidence to the committee and people should not pre-judge that evidence, there is no rehearsal for this.

“We’ve waited months for the first minister to be able to be invited, the conservatives are essentially pre-judging the meeting, we know where they are heading with this and we know they are not interested in listening to the first minister.

“We need to give her the opportunity to set out her case with the inquiry and the most appropriate thing is to give her time to do this.”

When asked if Ms Sturgeon has discussed resigning with him, Mr Swinney said no.

Furlough to be extended as Rishi Sunak talks Budget

Rishi Sunak is announcing the latest Budget today and is expected to layout a three-point economic plan focused on supporting people through the Covid-19 pandemic.

rishi sunak
Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Already confirmed is an extension to the furlough scheme, which will now run until the end of September.

Employers will be asked to pay in alongside the taxpayer for the cost of furloughed employees from July.

More than 300,000 Scots workers are currently supported by this scheme.

Ahead of the Budget, the Chancellor said: “Our Covid support schemes have been a lifeline to millions, protecting jobs and incomes across the UK.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak.

“There’s now light at the end of the tunnel with a roadmap for reopening, so it’s only right that we continue to help business and individuals through the challenging months ahead – and beyond.”

£27m funding will also be given to the north-east to help create an energy transition zone (ETZ).

This will help transform the north-east into a globally competitive hub for cleaner energies.

There will also be a £5m boost to help build a global underwater engineering hub in the city.

£27m will be given to help change the oil and gas industry

The Budget will be delivered by Mr Sunak in the House of Commons at 12.3opm.

You can watch this live on BBC, Sky News and through Parliament TV.

You can also keep track of what is happening on our live blog.