The Scottish Government has confirmed it is ready for a court battle with former First Minister Alex Salmond over the way it handled harassment claims against him.
And ministers again insisted there were “inaccuracies” in public statement statements by Mr Salmond in relation to the case after two women made allegations of harassment against him from 2013 when he was First Minister.
The ex-SNP leader denies all claims of harassment and has lodged a judicial review at Scotland’s Court of Session over the complaints process used by the Scottish Government.
Ministers today formally notified the Court of Session of their intention to contest the judicial review brought by Mr Salmond.
“As we have said previously, we are confident our processes are legally sound and we will vigorously defend our position,” a Scottish Government spokesman said.
“There are a number of inaccuracies in Mr Salmond’s public statements and we will address those matters in court.”
In their response, Scottish ministers have notified the court they intend to contest the substance of the judicial review.
Mr Salmond must now ask the court for permission for the case to proceed.
Although ministers can object to this, they have decided against contesting permission, meaning the case will now be dealt with in a court hearing likely to take place in the coming months.
Mr Salmond resigned from the SNP on 29 August, saying he was giving up his membership to avoid potential divisions within the party.
A spokesman for Mr Salmond said: “We are delighted that the Scottish Government have now conceded our right to bring the petition.
“Alex is pleased of the progress in bringing his case for judicial review before the court, but aware that today’s step forward is but the first round.
“We will do our substantive talking before the Court of Session.”