Alex Salmond will appear at harassment complaints inquiry on Friday

Alex Salmond will appear at the harassment complaints committee on Friday after withdrawing from his previously agreed appearance today at the eleventh hour.

Holyrood's harassment complaints committee has issued an update following a private meeting this morning.

The inquiry into the sexual harassment complaints against the former first minister agreed at a meeting today to invite Mr Salmond to appear on Friday.

This is the same day as suggested by Mr Salmond’s legal team yesterday when it revealed the former SNP leader would not appear today.

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It is understood Mr Salmond has accepted the invitation and has committed to appearing on Friday.

A spokesperson for the Scottish Parliament said: “There was unanimous agreement in the Committee that it wants to hear from Alex Salmond.

"His evidence has always been an important part of the Committee’s work and as such the Committee agreed that it would invite Mr Salmond to give evidence in person on Friday.

"The First Minister will then give evidence as the final witness to the inquiry on Wednesday.

“The Committee remains determined to complete its task set by the Parliament and today agreed further actions in order to help them complete this work.”

The new invite to the former first minister comes after the Scottish Parliament decided to remove, redact, and republish the former first minister’s key evidence on the potential breach of the ministerial code by Nicola Sturgeon.

Parliament redacted the submission following the Crown Office’s own eleventh hour intervention, demanding action was taken due to their “grave concerns” over the legality of the submission.

Mr Salmond’s legal team said on Tuesday that the former SNP leader could no longer appear due to the redactions creating “a significant legal impediment to his oral evidence”.

It is understood the Lord Advocate, at the heart of a growing parliamentary crisis following the Crown Office’s intervention, has also been invited to give evidence to the inquiry on Monday.

The First Minister will then give her evidence on Wednesday as the final witness to the inquiry.

The harassment complaints committee is examining the botched handling of harassment complaints against Mr Salmond by the Scottish Government, which led to a £500,000 legal bill after the Government conceded a judicial review challenge on the grounds of the process being “tainted by apparent bias”.

Mr Salmond was also acquitted of sexual offence charges in a trial last year.

Ms Sturgeon is expected to give evidence next week.

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