Po­lice Scot­land con­firm in­quiry into claims

Daily Record - - FRONT PAGE - BY DAVID CLEGG Po­lit­i­cal Ed­i­tor

ALEX Sal­mond has told po­lice prob­ing sex­ual as­sault al­le­ga­tions against him that he’d be “happy” to meet them.

The for­mer first min­is­ter’s of­fer came as the force stepped up their in­quiry into the claims.

Alex Sal­mond yes­ter­day of­fered to meet with po­lice af­ter of­fi­cers launched a full in­ves­ti­ga­tion into sex­ual as­sault al­le­ga­tions against him.

Po­lice Scot­land be­gan an in­quiry last month af­ter a com­plaint dat­ing back to Sal­mond’s time as First Min­is­ter was passed on by the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment. Ini­tially, the force re­fused to com­ment on whether a probe was tak­ing place be­fore con­firm­ing an “early as­sess­ment” of in­for­ma­tion was be­ing car­ried out.

But in re­sponse to a ques­tion on the in­ves­ti­ga­tion yes­ter­day, a po­lice spokesman said: “Our in­quiries con­tinue. We will not be com­ment­ing fur­ther.” A po­lice source told the Record: “Things have moved on sig­nif­i­cantly and th­ese al­le­ga­tions

now form the core of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion, it’s a def­i­nite pro­gres­sion from where the mat­ter was at a few weeks ago.”

It is un­der­stood a full in­quiry is un­der way and wit­nesses are ex­pected to be con­tacted.

Sal­mond re­sponded to the de­vel­op­ment by re­veal­ing he has con­tacted Po­lice Scot­land Chief Con­sta­ble Iain Liv­ing­stone and of­fered to meet with of­fi­cers.

A state­ment from his lawyers, Levy & McRae, said: “Mr Sal­mond’s fo­cus is on the pe­ti­tion for ju­di­cial re­view against the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment which is now on­go­ing in the Court of Ses­sion

“We have had no con­tact from Po­lice Scot­land. How­ever, we have writ­ten to the Chief Con­sta­ble mak­ing it clear that if they re­quire in the fu­ture to speak to Mr Sal­mond on any mat­ter our client will be happy to meet with his of­fi­cers.”

The Record re­vealed last month that a se­cret Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment probe into Sal­mond’s con­duct had been car­ried out af­ter two women raised com­plaints in Jan­uary.

One told in­ves­ti­ga­tors it took re­peated re­quests to stop an al­co­hol-fu­elled Sal­mond’s ad­vances in his of­fi­cial bed­room at Bute House, Ed­in­burgh, in De­cem­ber 2013. Sal­mond de­nies the al­le­ga­tions.

Our rev­e­la­tions sparked a po­lit­i­cal firestorm which led to Sal­mond quit­ting the party he had once led. He ini­tially took le­gal ac­tion to pre­vent Scot­land’s top civil ser­vant Les­lie Evans mak­ing pub­lic that ha­rass­ment com­plaints had been made against him and in­ves­ti­gated.

He dropped that gag­ging at­tempt on the Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary in the wake of the Record’s ex­clu­sive story. But he did con­firm a sep­a­rate le­gal ac­tion tak­ing the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment to court over the han­dling of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the claims against him.

Sal­mond ar­gued he had been de­nied the chance to prop­erly chal­lenge the ac­cu­sa­tions. He then launched a fundrais­ing cam­paign for his le­gal chal­lenge which within days topped £100,000 – and equally quickly laid bare in­ter­nal di­vi­sions in the na­tion­al­ist move­ment.

SNP leader Ni­cola Stur­geon was the most prom­i­nent critic, voic­ing con­cerns about the mes­sage the suc­cess­ful crowd­fund­ing cam­paign would send to vic­tims of ha­rass­ment.

Sal­mond also re­signed from the SNP, claim­ing he wanted to pro­tect the party from op­po­si­tion at­tacks, but added that he hoped one day to re­join their ranks.

Yes­ter­day, the Record fol­lowed up our ex­clu­sive story on the probe into al­leged sex­ual as­saults with our rev­e­la­tion that con­cerns had been raised by trade unions over Sal­mond’s al­leged bul­ly­ing of staff a decade ago,

The for­mer first min­is­ter de­clined to com­ment on the lat­est con­tro­versy and threat­ened us with le­gal ac­tion.

Things have moved on sig­nif­i­cantly.. it’s def­i­nite pro­gres­sion SOURCE ON IN­VES­TI­GA­TION

Main pic: PA

ON THE CASE We’ve led the way with cov­er­age of the com­plaints against Sal­mond, above.

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