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Dublin: 8 °C Friday 10 July, 2020

Alex Salmond wins case against Scottish government over sexual harassment inquiry

A judge found the government acted unlawfully in its investigation into claims made against Salmond.

Salmond described today as an
Salmond described today as an "emphatic victory" but said the process was "completely unnecessary".
Image: PA

A JUDGE HAS ruled that the Scottish government acted unlawfully in its investigation into sexual harassment claims against Alex Salmond.

Salmond denies the allegations made against him in August last year. He resigned from the Scottish National Party (SNP) shortly after the complaints were raised. 

BBC reports the government has now admitted it breached its own guidelines by appointing an investigating officer who had prior involvement in the case.

Judge Lord Pentland ruled the government’s actions had been “unlawful in respect that they were procedural unfair” and had been “tainted with apparent bias”.

In a statement after the ruling, Salmond described today’s result as an “emphatic victory” but said the process was “completely unnecessary”.

He said his legal team had made repeated offers to the government to resolve the situation without the need for “such a damaging and expensive case to come to court”. He said it had now “wasted huge amounts of public money in an attempt to enforce an unlawful process”. 

“It is a matter of great personal sadness that I have had to bring the Scottish government to court simply to ensure that those within it are acting fairly, honestly and with due regard for the law,” he said.

From the outset I have argued both that the decision made by the Permanent Secretary was unfair, biased and unlawful and that I have never engaged in any criminality. The first point has now been established. The second point I believe will follow.

As well as his family and friends, he thanked the 4,000 people who had contributed to a crowdfunding campaign for this judicial review.

The expenses of the legal action have been conceded by the Scottish government. Salmond said any surplus remaining from the fundraising will be donated to “good causes in Scotland and beyond”.

A separate police investigation into the allegations of sexual harassment is ongoing.

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