Alex Salmond inquiry first major challenge for new chief constable Iain Livingstone

The investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by Alex Salmond and the huge level of attention it will attract is the first major challenge for Scotland's new chief constable.

Picture: Ian Georgeson

Iain Livingstone, who officially takes up his new post on Monday, will be well aware of the scrutiny his force will be under.

Formed in 2013, Police Scotland has never been far away from controversy and is now being led by its third chief officer in five years.

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But the investigation into the allegations against the former first minister, who stepped down in 2014, is arguably the most high-profile it has undertaken.

Initially Police Scotland refused to comment on whether it was carrying out any inquiries in relation to Mr Salmond.

But yesterday it released a statement saying it was carrying out an “assessment of information” it had received.

A force spokesman said: “We are carrying out an assessment of information which we have received and inquiries are at an early stage.”

Yesterday, Scotland’s most senior civil servant said that, following the conclusion of an internal review, she was able to confirm the Scottish Government had received two complaints about Mr Salmond in January.

Permanent secretary Leslie Evans said the former SNP leader had been informed of the complaints in March and the details of the procedure under which the complaints would be addressed.

Mr Salmond has denied sexual harassment and said he has not “engaged in criminality”.

Earlier this month it emerged police had set up a database in a bid to identify those involved in alleged sexual misconduct at the Scottish Parliament.

Operation Concrete was launched after a survey of parliament staff revealed one in five had experienced sexual harassment.