Salmond inquiry to meet for first time since acquittal

The former first minister was cleared of all charges of sex offences by a jury in the High Court.

Salmond inquiry to meet for first time since acquittal Getty Images

The Holyrood inquiry into the Scottish Government’s handling of complaints against Alex Salmond is set to meet for the first time since the former first minister’s acquittal.

He was cleared of all charges, including attempted rape and sexual assault, at the conclusion of a High Court trial in March.

The special committee was established in 2019 after the Court of Session ruled the Scottish Government’s handling of misconduct allegations made against the former FM as unlawful.

Lord Pentland said the actions of government officials in dealing with the case internally had been “tainted with apparent bias”.

The result was damages of more than £500,000 paid to Salmond by the Scottish Government.

Shortly after the High Court verdict three months ago, the committee of MSPs postponed meeting again due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

But they will convene a virtual meeting later on Monday afternoon, its first since before Salmond’s criminal trial.

The inquiry will probe how the complaints against the former SNP leader were handled, which were made in 2018 but dated back to 2013.

While not directly related, the complaints ultimately triggered Police Scotland’s separate investigation after permanent secretary Leslie Evans – Scotland’s top civil servant – sent the results of her internal review of the complaints onto police.

The inquiry will also look at the former first minister’s dealings with his successor Nicola Sturgeon, with both on a provisional list of potential witnesses.

Correction: Initial error describing the Court of Session’s ruling on the Scottish Government’s handling of misconduct allegations against Alex Salmond as “lawful” amended to “unlawful”.