Alex Salmond launches legal action for millions against Scottish Government

The former first minister is understood to be seeking millions in damages and loss of earnings.

Alex Salmond launches legal action for millions against Scottish Government Getty Images
Context
  • In 2019, the Court of Session ruled the Scottish Government’s handling of complaints against Salmond was ‘unlawful’
  • The Scottish Government paid out £512,250 in legal costs to the former first minister
  • In 2020, Salmond was cleared of sexually assaulting nine women while he was first minister
  • In 2021, Holyrood held an inquiry into the Government’s unlawful investigation of Salmond
  • In 2022, the Government published a new grievance policy for staff

Alex Salmond has launched a new legal case against the Scottish Government over its botched probe into complaints against him.

The former first minister is understood to be seeking millions in damages and loss of earnings.

It comes after he took the Government to court in 2019 over its mishandling of an investigation into claims of sexual harassment by him.

The Scottish Government paid out £512,250 in legal costs to Salmond after the Court of Session ruled its handling of complaints against him was “unlawful”.

Salmond was cleared of sexually assaulting nine women while he was first minister in a separate criminal trial in 2020.

He is expected to make a statement on Friday.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “It would not be appropriate to comment on live litigation.”

Last year, the Government appointed a group of external investigators to handle complaints about current and former ministers

Following a review of its complaints procedure, new rules around formal complaints of bullying, harassment and discrimination made by civil servants were introduced in February 2022.

It came after a lengthy Holyrood inquiry into the original complaints against Salmond that saw both him and then-first minister Nicola Sturgeon called to give evidence.

During the inquiry, 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 – Salmond confirmed his intention to take legal action against Ms Evans.

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

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