A Holyrood inquiry is being called for into the “shambles” surrounding the botched sexual harassment probe into former First Minister Alex Salmond.
The Tories have made the call amid concerns the Scottish Government conceded defeat in the case against the former First Minister to stop more embarrassing revelations coming to light.
Mr Salmond won a dramatic victory over the Government he once led at the Court of Session in Edinburgh yesterday after procedural flaws emerged in the handling of a probe into two allegations of sexual harassment which had been made against him.
A separate criminal inquiry into the allegations is being undertaken by Police Scotland.
Tory interim leader Jackson Carlaw said the questions were “mounting up”.
“Nicola Sturgeon claims she did not intervene at any stage,” he said.
“Yet now we learn she had no fewer than three meetings and two phone calls with Mr Salmond when he raised his concerns about the process with her. If she wanted to stay out of it, why did she agree to meet him?
“We also now learn the SNP Government decided to settle after it had learned the First Minister’s closest aide was about to give evidence.
“It begs the question: Did the Scottish Government cave in to stop more facts coming to light about its involvement?”
Taxpayers could face a bill of £500,000 over the Court of Session case after Mr Salmond was awarded full damages.
Holyrood’s public audit committee may hold such a probe, but it is unlikely to take place until the police inquiry has concluded.
“If the SNP government won’t front up, then the Scottish Parliament will need to do so,” Mr Carlaw said.
“A Holyrood inquiry to find out what went on here may be the only way forward.”
It came as Labour’s Pauline McNeill today wrote to Nicola Sturgeon calling for transparency regarding her conversations with Mr almond.
“Your decision to meet and hold phone calls with Mr Salmond on multiple occasions about the investigation could have compromised the investigation,” Mrs McNeill’s letter states.
“It is clear that your statement to Parliament has left questions, which must be answered”
Ms Sturgeon has claimed the meetings were not Government business, but this has been dismissed as “not credible” by Labour.