Scottish politics has been gripped by the news that Alex Salmond is being investigated amid accusations of sexual misconduct made in January this year against the former First Minister.
The two-time SNP leader has strenuously denied the allegations, and says he completely rejects ‘any suggestion of criminality’.
He is taking the Scottish Government to court after lodging plans for a judicial review on how the Government has handled the complaints against him, and the process by which they were reported.
Mr Salmond has launched a crowdfunder appealing for help with his legal fees, which has reached over £80,000 in less than 24 hours as the case prepares to work its way through the court.
Here are the main facts as the story continues to dominate the agenda.
It was reported late last Thursday night that Alex Salmond had been accused of sexual misconduct towards two employees who had made complaints earlier this year.
Mr Salmond revealed the complaints (and his legal action against the Scottish Government) ahead of an expected statement from the Scottish Government’s Permanent Secretary Leslie Evans that was to confirm the investigation.
Details of the allegation were subsequently published this weekend, with reports that one woman had alleged that Mr Salmond touched her breasts and bottom following an engagement at Bute House.
The former First Minister has denied the allegations and hit out at the complaints procedure he was investigated under in a trio of statements and a broadcast interview in which he said he had ‘made mistakes in his public and personal lives, but had never sexually harassed anyone’.
Mr Salmond has started a Judicial Review into the matter, and has continually accused Leslie Evans of handling the complaints unfairly, while also slamming leaks that he insists add to the unfairness.
Nicola Sturgeon hits back
Ms Sturgeon has vowed to stand behind her Permanent Secretary, and says that the Scottish Government will vigorously defend its position in court, while revealing that she and Mr Salmond had discussed the allegations.
She said in her initial statement: “This focus on process cannot deflect from the fact that complaints were made that could not be ignored or swept under the carpet.”
The opposition parties have been quick to ask the First Minister to clear up what they consider to be unanswered questions over what the Scottish Government knew and when.
Those questions have led to clarification from the Scottish Government that no complaints were received about Mr Salmond before this January, but Labour have put in a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to determine what was discussed at three meetings that Mr Salmond and Ms Sturgeon had while the investigation into the former’s behaviour was ongoing.
After a few days of relative quiet, Mr Salmond made two significant announcements in a video statement released on Wednesday evening.
The former MP and MSP announced that after 40 years of near-uninterrupted membership, he had resigned from the SNP, a party he was seen as ubiquitous with for decades.
Nicola Sturgeon said that she was saddened by the resignation, which Mr Salmond said he had submitted to head off opposition attacks on his successor.
The second piece of news that Mr Salmond announced in his Youtube video was that he had started a crowdfunding campaign to help support him with legal costs throughout his judicial review.
At the time of writing, the crowdfunder had smashed its initial £50,000 and is currently sitting at £82,000 and attracting hundreds of backers, including MSP Colin Beattie.
Labour MSP Rhoda Grant said: “Decent people will rightly be furious that he is to raise money to take the Scottish Government to court. Alex Salmond is abusing his power, and dragging Scotland into the gutter.”
Nicola Sturgeon says she will remain restricted in what she can say about the case, while Mr Salmond is continuing to garner support among sections of the party he once led but has now left.
Ms Sturgeon was urged to clamp down on her MPs and MSPs sharing conspiracy theories about the allegations by opposition politicians earlier today.
The legal case has officially begun with legal papers lodged at the Court of Session.
As for the political fallout - that looks set to continue.