Alex Salmond announces legal action over ‘conduct’ of Scotland’s top civil servant

Alex Salmond has revealed he will be taking legal action over the “conduct” of Scotland’s most senior civil servant.

The former first minister accused permanent secretary Leslie Evans of still refusing to “accept real responsibility” for the government’s failings in handling sexual harassment complaints made against him.

Nicola Sturgeon’s predecessor said he would also be making a police referral regarding the “leak” of the original complaints made against him, which were first reported by the Daily Record newspaper in August 2018.

In his first public statement since the publication of reports around the government’s botched investigation, Mr Salmond said: “I have taken legal advice and will shortly be instructing my lawyers to bring proceedings in the Court of Session arising as a direct result of the conduct of the permanent secretary.

“I hope it is the only legal action that I am required to take.”

Mr Salmond was cleared of 13 charges of sexual harassment against nine women at the conclusion of a trial at the High Court in March 2020.

The previous January, the Scottish government had admitted its own 2018 inquiry into harassment allegations by two female civil servants against Mr Salmond was unlawful and had been “tainted by apparent bias”.

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