Salmond demands inquiry into alleged leaks

28 August 2018, 12:39 | Updated: 28 August 2018, 13:08

SNP leader

Alex Salmond has written to Scotland's top civil servant, calling for an inquiry into how sexual harassment allegations against him were made public.

He contacted Permanent Secretary Leslie Evans on Monday urging her to investigate.

The former first minister said someone within the Scottish Government has "flagrantly and repeatedly" breached the confidential complaints process by leaking details to the Daily Record newspaper.

The Government previously said its investigation into two complaints against Mr Salmond has been "entirely confidential throughout".

He strongly denies the allegations and has launched legal action against the Government over the probe.

A statement released on his behalf said: "It is manifestly absurd for the Permanent Secretary to claim that her procedure is 'confidential' when it is splashed over the front pages, emanating from briefings to a single newspaper.

"As explained many times now, confidentiality on such matters is crucial to both complainers and those complained about.

"Without it those who wish to make a complaint can have no confidence in the system protecting them while those complained about are denied fairness.

"Someone within the Scottish Government has flagrantly, and repeatedly, breached that requirement and the Permanent Secretary is now required to try and find out who it was."

The allegations about Mr Salmond's conduct towards two staff members in 2013 - while he was in office - first emerged on Thursday when the former MP released a statement prompted by an inquiry from the Daily Record.

The newspaper published what it claimed were details of one of the complaints over the weekend.

Police Scotland confirmed on Friday that the complaints have been passed to the force.

Meanwhile, Mr Salmond is taking court action against the Government to contest the complaints process activated against him.

Opposition parties have called for "full transparency" from the Government over its investigation.

A spokesman said: "For legal reasons we are unable to provide further detail at this time.

"However, in the fullness of time the Scottish Government will seek to make available as much information as it can."