Former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond launches legal action against government

Former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond Launches Legal Action Against Government
The case focuses on the Scottish government’s botched investigation of harassment complaints against Mr Salmond (pictured). Photo: PA Images
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Craig Paton, PA Scotland Deputy Political Editor

Former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond has launched legal action against the Scottish government over its botched investigation of harassment complaints against him.

The Court of Session confirmed on Friday the case, Alex Salmond v Scottish ministers, had been called.


The Herald reported the now-Alba Party leader has alleged “misfeasance” by civil servants and is seeking £3 million in damages and loss of earnings.

Scottish wellbeing economy secretary Neil Gray would not be drawn on the case when asked during a visit on Friday.

Mr Salmond – who was first minister between 2007 and 2014 – was investigated by the Scottish government after two complaints from staff were made under a new complaints procedure which included former ministers.

Alex Salmond
The former Scottish first minister is now the leader of the Alba Party (Jane Barlow/PA)

The investigation was deemed by a judicial review to have been “tainted with apparent bias” after the Scottish government conceded defeat and Mr Salmond was awarded £512,000 as a result.

He was subsequently cleared of 13 charges of sexual misconduct – including attempted rape – following a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh.

Then followed a protracted Holyrood inquiry into the Scottish government’s handling of the original two complaints, which called both Mr Salmond and former Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon to give evidence.


During the inquiry, Mr Salmond attacked Scotland’s former top civil servant – then permanent secretary Leslie Evans – accusing her of having a “bias” against him and calling for her resignation.

In March 2021 – just days before he announced he was the leader of the fledgling Alba Party – Mr Salmond confirmed his intention to take legal action against Ms Evans.

The inquiry, which worsened an already sour relationship between Mr Salmond and Ms Sturgeon – who had previously been close – found Ms Sturgeon misled MSPs in her evidence, but she was cleared of any breaches of the ministerial code.

Speaking on Friday, Mr Gray said: “Unfortunately, because this is now in a legal sphere, there is no further comment that I can make.


“It would be inappropriate to comment on a live litigation.”

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