Salmond investigation ‘upheld sexual harassment claims’ before being struck down 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.

Mr Salmond (pictured) 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.

The findings of Ms 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.

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

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 Mr Salmond were investigated by a committee of MSPs.

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

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

Copyright (c) PA Media Ltd. 2021, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Andrew Milligan / PA.