Alex Salmond demands full inquiry into harassment '˜leak' in government letter

Opposition parties have called for 'full transparency' from the Scottish Government over the investigation of sexual harassment allegations against Alex Salmond.

Alex Salmond has formally written to the Scottish Government to demand an inquiry into the leaking of sexual harassment allegations against him.

The Government last night confirmed there were no recorded complaints about Mr Salmond from before January.

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A statement was issued after opposition parties called for “full transparency” from the Government over their investigation into the former first minister.

Alex Salmond denies the allegation.Alex Salmond denies the allegation.
Alex Salmond denies the allegation.

The call came as a statement sent on behalf of Mr Salmond to The Scotsman last night confirmed his letter calling for a Government inquiry had been received yesterday afternoon by the Scottish permanent secretary’s office.

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Mr Salmond wants to know how the explosive sexual misconduct claims against him were made public at the end of last week.

He said on Friday: “Confidentiality is at the heart of a just procedure and is necessary for both complainers and those complained about. If it is breached, then who is going to complain in future with confidence and how can the person complained about secure any fairness?”

The Scottish Conservatives and Scottish Labour urged the SNP administration to release more information on the circumstances surrounding two complaints against Mr Salmond. He strongly denies the allegations, which were raised in January, and has launched legal action against the Government over the investigation.

The claims about his conduct towards two staff members in 2013, while he was in office, have been handed to Police Scotland.

Tory equalities spokeswoman Annie Wells had earlier written to Scottish permanent secretary Leslie Evans seeking to clarify whether complaints had been raised against Mr Salmond before January.

She said: “The Scottish Government should instigate an independent review in order to find out the answer.

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“This would show the Scottish Government was being fully transparent about its knowledge of any complaints of alleged misconduct.”

In a statement issued last night, a Government spokesman said: “It is important to remember that two complaints have been made that could not be ignored or swept under the carpet no matter the identity of the individual involved.

“There are no recorded complaints about Alex Salmond prior to January 2018.

“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.”

Labour has meanwhile tabled a series of Freedom of Information requests seeking more detail on three meetings Mr Salmond said had taken place between himself and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon after he was informed of the allegations. The party is requesting any correspondence relating to the meetings as well as any notes or minutes from them.

Labour’s Rhoda Grant MSP said: “The people of Scotland expect full transparency over this most serious of matters, but the SNP government has so far not been forthcoming.

“It is understood that Alex Salmond met the First Minister on multiple occasions to discuss the investigation into allegations of sexual assault made against him.”