Alex Salmond sues SNP for 'bias' as bitter row risks boiling over in £3million court case

Former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond departs Edinburgh High Court

Former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond departs Edinburgh High Court

Jack Walters

By Jack Walters

Published: 24/11/2023

- 08:05

Updated: 24/11/2023

- 08:28

The former Scottish First Minister is seeking damages and loss of earnings

Alex Salmond is launching legal action worth £3million against the Scottish Government following an investigation into sexual misconduct claims made against the former First Minister.

The 68-year-old, who left Bute House after losing the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, is understood to have lodged a petition at the Court of Session arguing various past and present civil servants were guilty of "misfeasance".

Misfeasance in public office occurs when a public officer knowingly misuses or abuses their power or authority and willingly acts to cause harm to an individual or group.

The Court confirmed the case is known as Alex Salmond v Scottish Ministers.

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A hearing relating to the civil action took place before Lord Douglas Fairley yesterday.

It will likely be publicly confirmed as soon as this afternoon, The Herald has claimed.

Salmond, who leads Alba Party after disagreeing with SNP bigwigs on Scotland's separatist strategy, is reportedly requesting damages and loss of earnings in the region of £3million.

The former First Minister's case is related to the Scottish Government’s probe into Salmond in 2018.

The investigation was launched after two female workers complained about his behaviour.

Salmond previously challenged the Government’s probe in a judicial review action at the Court of Session.

A general view of the Court of Session

A general view of the Court of Session


He proved it had been unlawful, unfair and “tainted by apparent bias”.

It later emerged the investigating officer was in prior contact with Salmond's accusers.

SNP ministers subsequently had to foot the former First Minister's £512,000 legal bill.

Salmond has been particularly critical of the Scottish Government's then-permanent secretary Leslie Evans.

Evans has since retired from her post as Scotland's most senior civil servant and set up a consultancy company.

Salmond was also cleared by a jury of 14 counts of sexual assault after a two week trail at the High Court in Edinburgh in 2020.

Nicola Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon


Holyrood created a special committee to look into the Scottish Government's handling of the misconduct claims.

Appearing before the committee, Salmond accused a number of prominent figures close to his Bute House successor Nicola Sturgeon of plotting against him.

However, Salmond also warned Sturgeon broke the ministerial code by allegedly misleading Holyrood over contacts and conversations during the investigation.

Material belatedly released to the Holyrood inquiry after the Government tried to block it showed outside lawyers warned the judicial review defence was in disarray.

Salmond confirmed he would take legal action in March 2021, adding: “The waste of public resources has continued to grow as has the impact on all the people concerned."

Responding to the latest legal development, a Scottish Government spokesperson said: “It would not be appropriate to comment on live litigation.”

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