Alex Salmond begins legal action against Scottish Government

Alex Salmond has formally begun his legal action against the Scottish Government over its handling of sexual harassment allegations made against him.

Two complaints were raised in January against the former first minister, who strongly denies the allegations, and he was informed of an investigation in March.

Alex Salmond has formally begun his legal action against the Scottish Government over its handling of sexual harassment allegations made against him. Picture: TSPL

Alex Salmond has formally begun his legal action against the Scottish Government over its handling of sexual harassment allegations made against him. Picture: TSPL

Mr Salmond is taking court action against the Scottish Government to contest the complaints process activated against him.

His petition for a judicial review has now been lodged at the Court of Session in Edinburgh, court officials confirmed on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Mr Salmond has written to Scotland’s top civil servant, calling for an inquiry into how the allegations against him were made public.

He contacted Permanent Secretary Leslie Evans on Monday urging her to investigate.

Read more: Alex Salmond demands full inquiry into harassment ‘leak’ in government letter

The former first minister said someone within the Scottish Government has “flagrantly and repeatedly” breached the confidential complaints process by leaking details to the Daily Record newspaper.

The Government previously said its investigation into the two complaints has been “entirely confidential throughout”.

A statement released on Mr Salmond’s behalf said: “It is manifestly absurd for the Permanent Secretary to claim that her procedure is ‘confidential’ when it is splashed over the front pages, emanating from briefings to a single newspaper.

“As explained many times now, confidentiality on such matters is crucial to both complainers and those complained about.

“Without it those who wish to make a complaint can have no confidence in the system protecting them while those complained about are denied fairness.

“Someone within the Scottish Government has flagrantly, and repeatedly, breached that requirement and the Permanent Secretary is now required to try and find out who it was.”

The allegations about Mr Salmond’s conduct towards two staff members in 2013, while he was in office, first emerged on Thursday when the former MP released a statement prompted by an inquiry from the Daily Record.

The newspaper published what it claimed were details of one of the complaints over the weekend.

Police Scotland confirmed on Friday that the complaints have been passed to the force.

Opposition parties have called for “full transparency” from the Government over its investigation.

A spokesman said: “For legal reasons we are unable to provide further detail at this time.

“However, in the fullness of time the Scottish Government will seek to make available as much information as it can.”

The PCS, Prospect and the FDA issued a joint statement saying: “Civil service unions met with the Permanent Secretary today and have confidence that the Scottish Government will continue to take seriously and handle sensitively all complaints of harassment.

“The unions are confident that the Scottish Government processes which we negotiated are valid and robust and if any member wishes to make a complaint then they will receive the full support of their trade union.

“We also indicated our full support to the Permanent Secretary personally in leading the process and would encourage any worker with any concerns to come forward. ”

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