Four former SNP ministers put forward for Alex Salmond complaints committee

Four former SNP ministers will be put forward to sit on the Holyrood committee being set up to investigate how complaints against former first minister Alex Salmond were handled.

Mr Salmond strongly refutes the claims made against him. Picture: SWNS

Nine MSPs from all five parties at Holyrood will be on the committee, which is being established after the Court of Session in Edinburgh ruled the way the allegations were dealt with was “unlawful”.

The Scottish Government has already announced it will carry out a review of what happened, while independent advisers will consider if First Minister Nicola Sturgeon breached the ministerial code in any of her dealings with her predecessor.

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Holyrood will conduct its own investigation, with a special committee tasked with considering the actions of Ms Sturgeon, Scottish Government officials and special advisers in dealing with the complaints against Mr Salmond - which he strongly denies.

The proposed membership of the committee includes Angela Constance, who has served as social security secretary and education secretary, along with Alasdair Allan, who has been both international development and learning minister, former Europe minister Linda Fabiani, and Maureen Watt, who has been both a schools minister and mental health minister.

The other proposed members are Tory MSPs Margaret Mitchell and Donald Cameron, Labour’s Jackie Baillie, Green MSP Alison Johnstone and Scottish Liberal Democrat Alex Cole-Hamilton.

The committee’s remit and membership were discussed at a meeting of the Scottish Parliament Bureau - which determines daily business at Holyrood - and are set to be formally endorsed on Wednesday.

A Scottish Parliament spokeswoman said: “The bureau agreed to recommend to the Parliament the remit and membership of a new committee of inquiry.

“A motion has been laid and will be considered by Parliament tomorrow.”

Last week, Deputy First Minister John Swinney announced both the government review and consideration of whether Ms Sturgeon breached the ministerial code had been deferred “while criminal investigations are active” against the former SNP leader.

He appeared in court last week charged with 14 offences, including two of attempted rape, but he insisted afterwards he refutes “absolutely these allegations of criminality”.