Alex Salmond’s fawning letters to Sandi Thom


By Cara Sulieman

NEW LIGHT has been shed on the friendship that has blossomed between Sandi Thom and Alex Salmond.

After recommending her second album to Sir Sean Connery, the first minister has shown himself to be a staunch supporter of the Banff-born singer and has even sung a duet with her.

The letters reveal a mutual respect between the pair, and they heap praise on each other with Salmond describing the singer as a “leading light in Scottish music”.

In October 2007, the first minister wrote to Thom apologising for not being able to meet her at a performance by the National Theatre of Scotland in Los Angeles.


He wrote: “The increasing prospect of a UK general election means that I am unable to join you.

“I hope that you will still take up the tickets reserved for you. Again, I am sorry that I cannot be there to enjoy it with you. However, I look forward to meeting you on another occasion.”

And a letter from the singer to Salmond the following month was as equally gushing.

She wrote: “I hope next year I can do my bit for Scottish music and I pray that it is a great year for Scotland, I’m sure with you at the reigns it will be.”


It is at this point that the prospect of Connery receiving a copy of her second album is brought up.

She wrote: “Please could you do me the biggest of favours! Could you, if you get the chance, pass a copy of ‘Pink and the Lily’ to (redacted). I would be so happy to think he could get a sneak preview of my next album.

“Have a fantastic xmas and a great Hogmanay and if you need anybody to play your New Year party just give me a shout!”

The recipient of the CD was blanked out, but previous correspondence between Salmond and Connery reveal that it was the Bond actor who got the album.

“Greatly enjoyed”

The first minister passed it on to Connery with a letter that read: “Sandi Thom has very kindly sent me an advance copy of her new album which will be released in the spring.

“I have greatly enjoyed listening to Sandi’s album, so I am forwarding it to you in the hope that you will too.”

But despite the praise from the first minister, Pink and the Lily was a flop when it hit shelves in 2008.

The most flattering of Salmond’s kind words came at the end of 2007 when he wrote and thanked her for a St Andrew’s Day gig she played in Edinburgh.

“Leading light”

Salmond wrote: “As usual, you gave a first class performance and continue to be a leading light in Scottish music.”

The first minister defended his correspondence with the 27-year-old, with his spokesman saying it was expected of him.

His spokesman said: “The first minister writes to people from all walks of life thanking them for their efforts in promoting Scotland, and congratulating them on their achievements.

“It’s what the people of Scotland would expect from their first minister.”