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Opposition urges full transparency over Alex Salmond probe

Alex Salmond spoke to the media last week (Jane Barlow/PA) Photo: PA Wire/PA Images

Opposition parties have called for “full transparency” from the Scottish Government over the investigation of sexual harassment allegations against Alex Salmond.

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

Mr Salmond 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 has written to Scottish Government Permanent Secretary Leslie Evans seeking to clarify whether complaints had been raised against Mr Salmond before January.

She said: “I believe we need to know whether these allegations were ever brought to the attention of the Scottish Government prior to January 2018.

“There is a clear public interest in getting a definitive answer as to whether any complaints against the former first minister were made in this period and whether any Scottish Government officials or ministers were informed about them.

“The Scottish Government should instigate an independent review in order to find out the answer.

“This would show the Scottish Government was being fully transparent about its knowledge of any complaints of alleged misconduct.”

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

The party is requesting any correspondence relating to the meetings as well as any notes or minutes from them.

Labour’s Rhoda Grant MSP 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.”