Police probing sexual misconduct claims against ex-Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond

Police probing sexual misconduct claims against ex-Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond are investigating alleged incidents at Edinburgh airport.

Airport staff were interviewed last week after inquiries into complaints by two Scottish Government employees brought alleged new information to light.

It is thought that the incidents took place in 2008 when Salmond frequented the airport due to his position as First Minister.

However these claims did not form part of the sexual harassment claims surrounding Salmond, which sparked the investigation.

Police probing sexual misconduct claims against ex-Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond are investigating alleged incidents at Edinburgh airport

Police probing sexual misconduct claims against ex-Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond are investigating alleged incidents at Edinburgh airport

Police probing sexual misconduct claims against ex-Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond are investigating alleged incidents at Edinburgh airport

A spokesman for Edinburgh Airport said: ‘We can confirm that we are assisting Police Scotland with its inquiries. We cannot comment further at this time.’  

Police Scotland would not comment.

The former first minister is taking court action against the Scottish Government to contest the complaints process activated against him in relation to sexual harassment claims.

Airport staff were interviewed last week after inquiries into complaints by two Scottish Government employees brought alleged new information to light

Airport staff were interviewed last week after inquiries into complaints by two Scottish Government employees brought alleged new information to light

Airport staff were interviewed last week after inquiries into complaints by two Scottish Government employees brought alleged new information to light

Two allegations, which he strongly denies, were made in January.

He has since resigned from the SNP and is pursuing a judicial review in Scotland’s highest civil court.

The case is due to call at the Court of Session for a hearing set for four days from January 15, with an earlier procedural hearing on November 6.

A secret probe into Salmond’s conduct was carried out after two women raised complaints about him, the Daily Record reported. 

One alleged incident is said to have happened late one evening at the First Minister’s official residence in Edinburgh, Bute House, in December 2013.

He is alleged to have told the complainant to move from a public room to the bedroom, repeatedly offered her alcohol – which she refused – and then told her to get into bed.

Salmond then, reportedly, lay on top of her, kissed her, and touched her sexually on her breasts and bottom through her clothes.

He only stopped after she repeatedly asked him too, the Daily Record newspaper reported. Salmond denies all the claims.

In his resignation statement last night he said: ‘I truly love the SNP and the wider independence movement in Scotland. They have been the defining commitment of my life.

It is thought that the incidents took place in 2008 when Salmond frequented the airport due to his position as First Minister

It is thought that the incidents took place in 2008 when Salmond frequented the airport due to his position as First Minister

It is thought that the incidents took place in 2008 when Salmond frequented the airport due to his position as First Minister

‘But today I have written to the National Secretary of the Party resigning my membership.

‘I read carefully Nicola Sturgeon’s statement on Sunday and watched her television interview of a couple of days ago. She made it clear that the SNP have never received a single complaint about my personal conduct in my many decades of membership.

‘I refute these two complaints of harassment and I absolutely reject any suggestion of criminality.

‘I did not come into politics to facilitate opposition attacks on the SNP and, with Parliament returning next week, I have tendered my resignation to remove this line of opposition attack.

‘Most of all I am conscious that if the Party felt forced into suspending me it would cause substantial internal division.

‘In my letter to the National Secretary I state that it is my absolute intention to reapply for SNP membership just as soon as I have had the opportunity to clear my name.’

‘In the meantime, I would urge no one else to relinquish their SNP membership,’ he added.

He also wrote to Scotland’s top civil servant calling for an inquiry into how sexual harassment allegations against him were made public. 

The Government previously said its investigation into two complaints against Salmond has been ‘entirely confidential throughout’.

Leslie Evans, Permanent Secretary at the Scottish Government, said the complaints were raised in January and Salmond was notified in March about an investigation. 

Salmond had first become SNP leader in 1990, and stayed in the role for 10 years, during which time the devolved Scottish Parliament was established.

After returning to the role he was elected First Minister in 2007 in the SNP’s first ever Holyrood election victory.

He stepped down seven years later in the wake of the 2014 independence referendum defeat.

After serving as a Westminster MP from 1987 to 2010, he returned to the House of Commons in the SNP’s landslide at the 2015 general election.

But he lost the Gordon seat to the Conservatives at last year’s snap election.

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