- Alex Salmond, the former First Minister of Scotland, has been accused of sexual misconduct with two female staff members while in office.
- Scotland’s Daily Record newspaper first reported the allegations, and the Scottish government appeared to confirm the existence of an investigation.
- Salmond has denied the allegations, which he called “patently ridiculous.”
- He also launched legal proceedings against the Scottish government over the complaints procedure against him.
- He said he was given no access to the evidence and therefore cannot “properly challenge” the case.
Alex Salmond, the former leader of Scotland, has denied accusations of sexual misconduct with two female employees while in office.
An article in Scotland’s Daily Record newspaper claimed that Salmond has been reported to police by the Scottish government over the allegations, which are said to relate to his time as First Minister, Scotland’s highest office.
One incident is alleged to have taken place at Bute House, the First Minister’s official residence in Edinburgh, in December 2013.
Nicola Sturgeon, the current first minister of Scotland, confirmed in a Friday morning statement that two people complained about Salmond this January. She added that she had “been aware for some time of the fact of the investigation” but “have had no role in the process.”
Salmond has denied the claims. He also told Sky News on Friday: “I am not guilty of harassing anyone and I am certainly not guilty of any form of criminality.”
The Scottish government also told Business Insider in a statement that it was vital that “allegations of harassment are treated seriously” regardless of those accused.
Salmond was in office from 2007 to 2014. He resigned after losing yes/no referendum on whether Scotland should leave the United Kingdom to be an independent nation.
The Scottish government passed the complaints to the police after an internal probe, the Daily Record said. Police Scotland has declined to comment.
In a statement released shortly after the Record’s article on Thursday night, Salmond denied all the claims and described some as “patently ridiculous.”
He is also suing the Scottish government over the “unjust” complaints procedure against him. He claimed that the Scottish government was “behaving unlawfully” in the procedure, which he said denied him access to evidence and rendered him unable to “properly challenge” the case.
Sturgeon confirmed in her statement that Salmond had started legal proceedings against the Scottish government, adding that it “refutes his criticisms of its process and will defend its position vigorously.”
Here’s Salmond’s full statement:
“For many months now, and on the advice of Senior Counsel, I have attempted to persuade the Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government that she is behaving unlawfully in the application of a complaints procedure, introduced by her more than three years after I left office. This is a procedure so unjust that even now I have not been allowed to see and therefore to properly challenge the case against me. I have not been allowed to see the evidence.
“I have tried everything, including offers of conciliation, mediation and legal arbitration to resolve these matters both properly and amicably. This would have been in everybody’s interests, particularly those of the two complainants. All of these efforts have been rejected.
“The Permanent Secretary chose to deny me contact with any current civil servant, many of whom wished to give evidence on my behalf and access to documentation to allow me to properly challenge the complaints, all of which I refute and some of which were patently ridiculous. The procedure as put into operation by the Permanent Secretary is grossly unfair and therefore inevitably will lead to prejudicial outcomes.
“It is therefore with great reluctance that I have today (Thursday 23rd August) launched a Judicial Review in the Court of session which will decide the issue of the lawfulness of the procedure which has been used against me. If I lose then I will have to answer the complaints both comprehensively and publicly. Until then I am bound to say nothing which would impinge on the Court proceedings. In our submissions on Judicial Review we have asked that the complainants’ identity be protected.”
And the Scottish government’s response:
“We can confirm that Alex Salmond has initiated legal proceedings against the Scottish government and as a result we are restricted in what we can say.
“However, the Scottish government will defend its position vigorously. As a matter of principle and integrity, it is vital that any allegations of harassment are treated seriously and investigated thoroughly, regardless of the identity of the party involved.”
And Sturgeon’s statement:
Please see statement below. pic.twitter.com/LaTKotwdA8
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) August 24, 2018
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