Alex Salmond court ruling is no victory – leader comment

editorial image
Have your say

All institutions, but most especially the Scottish Government, should have an effective means of investigating complaints of sexual misconduct.

The Court of Session yesterday ruled the Government acted unlawfully in dealing with two complaints about Alex Salmond, with Lord Pentland saying the internal investigation had been “procedurally unfair and ... tainted with apparent bias” against the ex-First Minister.

But, as Labour pointed out, investigations into “alleged sexual assault should not fall down on the basis of improper procedure”. The Government’s failings in this case were unfair to Salmond but also to the two women involved.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon: ‘Deeply regrettable government had to settle Alex Salmond challenge’

Steps must now be taken to reassure staff that there is an effective system in place so they are not discouraged from making complaints in the future.

And while Salmond has won this case, it is not a victory. The crux of the matter is currently being investigated by the police and the outcome of this inquiry, which should not be affected by the Scottish Government’s mishandling of its own one, will now be key.

READ MORE: Alex Salmond case ‘could discourage future sexual harassment complaints’