Police make enquiries into allegations MSP hit ex-wives
DUNFERMLINE MSP Bill Walker has been suspended from the SNP following allegations he hit three ex-wives.
The claims from all three of his exes were reported at the weekend, which has led to him being suspended from the SNP and, subsequently, the SNP Parliamentary Group.
A Fife Constabulary spokesperson said, "The force is aware of recent press reports concerning Mr Bill Walker and is making enquiries into the issues raised."
He has also resigned from the Scottish Parliament's local government and public petitions committees.
Mr Walker, who is also West Fife Villages councillor, has also been suspended from Fife Council's SNP group.
He now faces being kicked out of the party following disciplinary procedures.
First Minister Alex Salmond, SNP leader, said, "The SNP's rules are very clear and provide for decisive but fair action.
"The correct action has been taken by the national secretary, in consultation with me as party leader, of suspending Bill Walker from the SNP and the parliamentary group pending a full investigation of the facts and circumstances.
"The SNP's strongly held position is zero tolerance of violence against women."
Mr Salmond claimed information about Mr Walker's marital history had not been reported to the party prior to his selection as a parliamentary candidate last year.
Mr Walker (69) married his fourth wife, June, at Culross Abbey in July 2011, and just last month praised the "brilliant work" of Fife Women's Aid, which had received £400,000 of Big Lottery Fund cash to help abused women in Dunfermline and Fife.
This week, he issued a statement saying, "There are two sides to every story and I dispute almost entirely all the allegations that have been made against me.
"That is not to say that I do not greatly regret individual occasions, during the break-up of my marriages, where I definitely regret some behaviour.
"These relationships ended some considerable time ago and, not least for the sake of my children and some others, I do not intend to replay those disputes publicly.
"My support for organisations assisting women stems from my recognition of the difficulties in some marriages and relationships. My wife and I have now been together for 16 years."
The suspension means Mr Walker now sits as an independent MSP and councillor and can no longer speak or ask questions on behalf of the party.
There will now be a disciplinary hearing into his conduct, which will be convened by nine SNP members who will investigate the claims. Mr Walker will be invited to respond to the allegations.
The MSP told the Press he was trying to find out when the hearing would be held and when contacted an SNP spokesperson said they were "keen to get it resolved as quickly as possible".
The hearing has three possible outcomes: Mr Walker could be admonished; suspended from the party for up to six months; or expelled permanently.
However, even if he is thrown out, Mr Walker would not have to stand down as MSP as parliamentary rules allow him to remain as an independent.
He is not seeking re-election to Fife Council in the local government elections this May.
Fife Women's Aid said it was "dismayed" over the reports of "historic domestic abuse" involving Mr Walker.
A spokesperson added, "We hear all too regularly similar stories to those told by Mr Walker's previous partners.
"Domestic abuse is common and cuts across the social spectrum, affecting women in all walks of life. It is unacceptable under any circumstances.
"We would urge anyone suffering abuse to seek help, either through the police or their local Women's Aid group. No woman has to suffer in silence."
Mr Walker took the Dunfermline seat, previously held by Lib Dem Jim Tolson, in the 2011 Holyrood elections, edging Labour's Alex Rowley by just 590 votes.
His first 10 months in office have not been without controversy - in August he became the subject of a row over gay marriage.
He received online threats and was called a "bigot" after he supported a parliamentary motion stating no-one should be forced to approve of same-sex marriage.
Do you still want Bill Walker to be Dunfermline's MSP? Vote now in our online poll.
Have your say. Post a comment on this article.
Mar 9, 10:12
Utter Disgrace this man has been, since he come in last may. I hope he does the decent thing and goes. Better Question, why would Three different woman and his daughter lie?
IT just proves even the SNP Domestic abuse have failed to grasp the problems and issues of Domestic abuse which needs to be rotted out.
We really should bring back the stocks for people who commit Domestic abuse.
Hopeful if there a by-election we can vote in someone better and not SNP to cut there majority and hopeful there start listening to other people
Recommend? Yes 98 No 67
Mar 9, 11:32
A fairly predictable post from Mikeintheknow.
Can I point out that these are allegations not proven facts. As to why 3 ex wives and a daughter tell lies-I have no idea- but I do know that journalists pay for stories.
It is perhaps relevant that these unproven claims appear just as the MP for Falkirk, Eric Joyce is charged with various crimes in Parliament and the Police station.
The story above does not say if Bill Walker was ever charged with any offence but I am prepared to wait for the conclusions of investigations before I make a judgement. Trial by Tabloid is never justified, we have courts of law to determine the facts and I would have thought that fair minded people could suspend comment until they are known. Jumping to unjustified conclusions just because you dislike someone's politics says more about Mikeintheknow then he perhaps he realises.
Recommend? Yes 76 No 83
Mar 9, 20:11
You are correct in one respect –any allegations should be based on fact!
Fact – These are not allegations, they are FACTS that a reporter has dug up from the divorce court cases – see http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/revealed-msps-history-of-violence-against-three-ex-wives.16923079
Fact – Just before last May’s election, a relative of one of Walker’s former wives presented written evidence to the political parties but most refused to handle it!
Fact – This information was given to Tricia Marwick (now Presiding Officer) by one of her SNP councillors – the SNP chose to cover it up!
Recommend? Yes 85 No 44
Mar 9, 22:15
Herpes 74 have you actually read the story that the Herald on Sunday has
printed,obviously not.His first wife pursued the divorce on the grounds of his alleged cruelty towards her. A legal bid that was not defended by him,this would seem as an act of guilt.
In a statement with his second wife he has admitted assaulting the step daughter.
There is no comparison with Eric Joyce who is now being expelled from the Labour Party according to today's media reports.
If these allegations were raised prior to the selection process of allowing Bill Walker to stand as MSP I think we can all be assured he would never have passed the selction process.Then again was there a selection process.
This story was released by the Herald on Sunday not News International it is hardly plausible to even suggest that these journalists would have paid these women to falsify their stories.In reference to being charged, back then the police would not get involved with these sort of dealings as they were classed as domestic incidents.
Bill Walkers political career ended on Sunday when this story was released,to even stand as an independent MSP is a slap on the face to the people of Dunfermline and West Fife.He must resign from his position as MSP as he has done with other positions political and non political immediately.
Recommend? Yes 77 No 38
Mar 9, 22:51
Clearly some of Bill Wakers past was presented to SNP which they have chosen to ignore,how poorly this must reflect their own selection process that has allowed this person to be in such a public position.The failings here makes me wonder what other skeletons will be lurking in their cupboard.
How anyone can try to defend this man's actions is beyond belief, wife beater is what it used to be called but pc prefers to use some what more subtle names.How subtle did he treat his former wives when you read their stories.
No Mr Walker you have lied to the public, these are very serious allegations about your past and your position as MSP.Do the Honorable thing and resign to save yourself any more public humiliation.
Recommend? Yes 73 No 39
Mar 10, 18:13
bill walker is a lovely man who i have met several times and knows my family well, he cares for his community and i do not believe these allegations to be true, they have come just before elections, which is incredibly convenient and as per usual the sheep are climbing on their high horses and stabbing the poor man in the back, give him a chance, VOTE BILL WALKER MSP!!!
Recommend? Yes 40 No 53
Mar 10, 21:39
Mar 11, 17:13
cheekylab88 There is NO elections for MSP until 2016, MP until 2015. This May we are voting for the council, but some believe its still labours faults for the local ills, YET the SNP and lib dems have been in control for 5 years, you cant keep using "its all someone else fault!"
Thanks to the rest of you for helping prove my main points.
Recommend? Yes 26 No 22
Mar 12, 17:04
Mar 12, 17:14
Mar 12, 17:17
if he is found guilty a bye election should be called, he should be expelled from givernment and not be able to claim any parachute payment. he should lose his government pension. why shou dwe as taxpayers fund his cushy retirement if he is a cad and a criminal?
Recommend? Yes 24 No 16
Mar 12, 21:50
Going to be very difficult to prove these allegations given the length of time that has elapsed .I suspect he will be asked to resign after Council elections and a female SNP candidate will be found to stand to obliterate the memory of this MSP.
Recommend? Yes 11 No 11
Mar 12, 22:57
Mar 13, 09:22
Mar 15, 02:03
I would like to ask a question, why did these women wait till now to speak out, and why didn't they do this last year when Bill Walker was elected? MMMMM. That was some muckraking job by the Herald. BTW, I do not condone any abuse of women, in fact I have just helped someone through Womens Aid.
Recommend? Yes 8 No 4
Mar 19, 20:52
Jun 15, 17:16
It's appalling the way the man has been treated. The stories no doubt circulated by the politically dis-illusioned and jealous wanna be's.
All of the good he has done has suddenly been forgotten and remember he was the champion for many a community and various causes. He has put Valleyfield back on the map and was involved with some of the Heritage issues there.
In my opinion the poor man has been villafied by other political group members who are still smarting at the defeat they suffered in the elections. Maybe they should have done more for the communities instead of getting their faces in photo shoot opportunities...they should also remember that those who throw stones should not live in greenhouses....
Recommend? Yes 0 No 0