Salmond probe ‘upheld sexual harassment claims’ before struck down

The former first minister was acquitted of 13 charges during a separate criminal trial in March 2020.

Alex Salmond challenged the Scottish Government's investigation in court. Andrew Milligan via PA Media
Alex Salmond challenged the Scottish Government's investigation in court.

The Scottish Government’s investigation into Alex Salmond found his behaviour amounted to sexual misconduct before it was struck down by the courts, it has been reported.

Leslie Evans, the government’s most senior civil servant, upheld five charges against the former first minister at the conclusion of her investigation in 2018, The Times said.

Salmond went on to win more than £500,000 in legal fees from the Scottish Government after he successfully challenged the investigation in the Court of Session.

A separate criminal trial acquitted him of 13 charges in March 2020.

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The findings of Evans’ investigation have not been made public until now.

They were revealed in extracts of a book by journalists David Clegg and Kieran Andrews, published in The Times.

The forthcoming book, titled Break-Up: How Alex Salmond And Nicola Sturgeon Went To War, documents the rift between the former first minister and his successor.

Evans’ investigation was launched after two female civil servants formally complained about Salmond’s behaviour.

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The book says: “Ruling on complaints from Ms A and Ms B, Evans wrote that his conduct on a number of occasions was ‘unwanted and of a sexual nature’ and had the effect of ‘violating’ their ‘dignity’ and ‘creating an intimidating, degrading, humiliating and offensive environment’.

“Some of the allegations were considered so serious that Evans decided they should be referred to the police despite both women expressing reservations about becoming involved in a criminal investigation.”

Following the conclusion of the criminal trial, the Scottish Government’s handling of the complaints against Salmond were investigated by a committee of MSPs.

They found the Scottish Government’s handling of complaints was “seriously flawed” and women had been let down.

In March, Salmond announced his new pro-independence Alba Party would contest the Scottish Parliament elections.


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