Menu
Subscribe to Holyrood updates

Newsletter sign-up

Subscribe

Follow us

Scotland’s fortnightly political & current affairs magazine

Subscribe

Subscribe to Holyrood
by Louise Wilson
24 November 2023
‘Evasion of responsibility ends’ says Alex Salmond as he launches legal action against Scottish Government

The Scottish Government admitted in 2019 it had acted unlawfully in its investigation in complaints against Salmond | Alamy

‘Evasion of responsibility ends’ says Alex Salmond as he launches legal action against Scottish Government

Former First Minister Alex Salmond is taking legal action against the Scottish Government, accusing it of misfeasance in relation to the handling of sexual harassment complaints made against him.

In a statement following the calling of the case in the Court of Session, Salmond said that “not one single person has been held accountable” for the botched handling of the investigation.

“With this court action that evasion of responsibility ends,” he added.

The Scottish Government admitted in 2019 it had acted unlawfully in its investigation in complaints against the former first minister.

It paid £512,000 to Salmond for his legal fees after he launched a judicial review.

Now Salmond is seeking further damages and loss of earnings.

Gordon Dangerfield, Salmond’s lawyer, said: “This is an action of misfeasance in public office in which we aver that public officials of the Scottish Government conducted themselves improperly, in bad faith and beyond their powers, with the intention of injuring Mr Salmond.”

He continued: “We aver that public officials decided at an early stage that Mr Salmond was to be found guilty of allegations against him, regardless of the actual facts.

“As events snowballed, we aver that public officials then took part in the criminal leaking of confidential documents, the concealment of documents in defiance of court orders and a criminal warrant, the misleading of the court during judicial review proceedings, the soliciting of false criminal complaints, and ultimately the commission of perjury at a parliamentary inquiry.

“All of this, we aver, was done for political reasons, and specifically to injure Mr Salmond.”

Salmond was cleared of sexual assault charges in a separate criminal trial which took place in 2020.

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

Holyrood Newsletters

Holyrood provides comprehensive coverage of Scottish politics, offering award-winning reporting and analysis: Subscribe

Read the most recent article written by Louise Wilson - First Minister Humza Yousaf urged to order public inquiry into Emma Caldwell case.

Get award-winning journalism delivered straight to your inbox

Get award-winning journalism delivered straight to your inbox

Subscribe

Popular reads
Back to top