No complaints against Salmond before January, says Scottish Government

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The Scottish Government has confirmed there are no recorded complaints about Alex Salmond from before January.

The detail emerged in response to calls from opposition parties for “full transparency” from the Scottish Government over the investigation of sexual harassment allegations against the former first minister.

The Scottish Conservatives and Scottish Labour have urged the SNP administration to release more information on the circumstances surrounding two complaints against Mr Salmond.

He strongly denies the allegations – which were raised in January – and has launched legal action against the Government over the probe.

The claims about his conduct towards two staff members in 2013, while he was in office, have been handed to Police Scotland.

Tory equalities spokeswoman Annie Wells earlier wrote to Scottish Government permanent secretary Leslie Evans seeking to clarify whether complaints had been raised against Mr Salmond before the beginning of the year.

A Scottish Government spokesman later said: “It is important to remember that two complaints have been made that could not be ignored or swept under the carpet no matter the identity of the individual involved.

“There are no recorded complaints about Alex Salmond prior to January 2018.

“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.”

Labour has tabled a series of freedom of information requests seeking more detail on three meetings Mr Salmond said had taken place between himself and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon after he was informed of the allegations.

Nicola Sturgeon
Nicola Sturgeon (Jane Barlow/PA)

Labour MSP Rhoda Grant said: “The people of Scotland expect full transparency over this most serious of matters, but the SNP government has so far not been forthcoming.

“It is understood that Alex Salmond met the First Minister on multiple occasions to discuss the investigation into allegations of sexual assault made against him.

“It would be completely unacceptable if the details of those meetings remain hidden from the Scottish people.

“Members of the public understand that the Government will be restricted in some regards due to Mr Salmond’s legal action against them, but basic details surrounding these meetings should be released to them.”

The Scottish Government spokesman added: “The First Minister was clear to Alex Salmond that she had no role in the process and would not intervene.”

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