Alex Salmond appears at Edinburgh's High Court on attempted rape and sexual assault allegations

A date for the trial of Alex Salmond, who is accused of attempted rape and a string of sex assaults while first minister of Scotland, has been set for 9 March.

The ex-SNP leader appeared at Edinburgh's High Court this morning for a brief procedural hearing before Lady Dorrian, the lord justice clerk.Mr Salmond has appeared in court accused of offences against ten women, including attempted rape and a series of sexual assaults.Details of the procedural hearing cannot be reported for legal reasons.The former First Minister, who denies all 14 charges against him, appeared at the same court in November where he was told he is due to stand trial in March.Mr Salmond is accused of one attempted rape, one sexual assault with intent to rape, ten other sexual assaults and two indecent assaults. He pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.According to the indictment, the alleged offences were committed against ten different women over a period of almost seven years, all while he was First Minister and leader of the SNP.The first dates back to June 2008, with the most recent in November 2014. It is claimed that one of the alleged sexual assaults took place days before the Scottish independence referendum.

Mr Salmond was accompanied at court yesterday by Fraser Thompson, a senior aide to the SNP MP Joanna Cherry.

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Mr Thompson said he was providing press coordination for his "close friend" Mr Salmond, on a day off from his duties with Ms Cherry and on an unpaid basis, as he has done at a previous hearing.

Mr Salmond denies all 14 charges against him. Picture: PA

Ms Cherry confirmed he was acting in a "personal capacity".