August 23, 2018
Former Scottish first minister denies allegations by two members of staff
Alex Salmond takes Scottish government to court over sexual misconduct claims
Alex Salmond has denied allegations of sexual misconduct during his tenure as first minister of Scotland.
The former Scottish National party leader has issued a public rebuttal over a report in the Daily Record that says the claims made by two staff members relating to incidents in 2013 have been referred to the police.
Salmond, 63, has revealed he is taking the Scottish government to court following the complaints, arguing that he had been denied the chance to properly challenge the accusations.
In a statement on his Twitter page, the former SNP leader described some of the allegations as “patently ridiculous”.
“The permanent secretary chose to deny me contact with any current civil servant, many of whom wished to give evidence on my behalf and access to documentation to allow me to properly challenge the complaints, all of which I refute and some of which were patently ridiculous,” the former MP for Banff and Buchan tweeted.
“The procedure as put into operation by the permanent secretary is grossly unfair and therefore inevitably will lead to prejudicial outcomes.
“It is therefore with great reluctance that I have today launched a judicial review in the court of session which will decide the issue of the lawfulness of the procedure which has been used against me.”
A spokesman for the Scottish government said it would “defend its position vigorously”.
“We can confirm that Alex Salmond has initiated legal proceedings against the Scottish government and as a result we are restricted in what we can say.
“However, the Scottish government will defend its position vigorously. As a matter of principle and integrity, it is vital that any allegations of harassment are treated seriously and investigated thoroughly, regardless of the identity of the party involved.”
A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Police Scotland is not going to comment on whether an inquiry is ongoing.”
Salmond resigned as first minister and SNP leader in November 2014 following the victory for the no campaign in the Scottish independence referendum, and was replaced by Nicola Sturgeon.
He had served in the role since the SNP’s first Holyrood election victory in May 2007.
This article was amended on 24 August 2018. An earlier headline referred in error to Holyrood, the Scottish parliament. This has now been corrected to say the Scottish government.
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