Alex Salmond reports Scottish Government to data watchdog

Former First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond. Picture: Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images
Former First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond. Picture: Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images
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A major data protection body is investigating a report made by former First Minister about the Scottish Government.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) confirmed it was looking into concerns raised by Mr Salmond.

The confirmation came today, less than 24 hours after a ‘detailed review’ carried out by the Scottish Government said no data breach was committed around the sexual harassment allegations made against the former SNP leader.

READ MORE: FMQs: Nicola Sturgeon denies intervening in Salmond inquiry

Mr Salmond had written to the Government’s permanent secretary Leslie Evans in August last year, shortly after the allegations against him emerged, calling for an investigation into what he described as the leaking of information as part of a confidential process.

The source of the leak has not been publicly disclosed.

The matter has since been referred to the ICO, an independent UK-wide body responsible for ensuring data protection laws are upheld.

A spokesman for Mr Salmond confirmed the report had been sent to the ICO by the former First Minister in late October.

In a statement, the ICO said: “Mr Salmond is happy for us to confirm he has raised a concern with the ICO and we are currently making enquiries with the Scottish Government.”

Confirmation of the watchdog’s involvement comes just 48 hours after Mr Salmond won a court victory against the Government, whose process was found to be flawed in the way the allegations against the former First Minister were investigated.

A Government spokesman had said yesterday in a statement: “The Scottish Government has never commented on the content of the allegations against Mr Salmond and we will not do so.

“As a precaution and in line with our legal obligations, we instructed a detailed review into our handling of Mr Salmond’s data in August 2018.

“We are satisfied that information relating to this case has been processed in accordance with our legal and information handling obligations, and that there is no evidence of any data breach.”

A police inquiry into Mr Salmond’s conduct remains ongoing.