Salmond evidence removed after Crown Office raises concerns

Alex Salmond's evidence to a Holyrood inquiry was published on Monday.

Salmond evidence removed after Crown Office raises concerns Getty Images
Salmond is due to appear before the committee on Wednesday.

Alex Salmond’s written evidence to a Holyrood inquiry has been removed from the Scottish Parliament website after prosecutors raised concerns.

The former first minister’s evidence to the inquiry studying the botched investigation into harassment claims against him was originally published on Monday evening.

It was removed on Tuesday morning before a redacted version was published a short time later.

Salmond accused his successor Nicola Sturgeon of breaking the ministerial code by misleading parliament, and described the Crown Office as “not fit for purpose” under its current leadership.

The Crown Office wrote to the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB), the administrative wing of Holyrood, asking for redactions or for the evidence to be removed from publication.

A Scottish Parliament spokesperson said: “Following representations from the Crown Office on Monday evening, the SPCB agreed collectively this morning that it will remove the Alex Salmond submission on the ministerial code from its website with immediate effect and republish it later today in a redacted form.

“The SPCB will respond formally to the Crown Office shortly.”

Salmond is expected to appear before the committee on the Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints on Wednesday after weeks of dispute over whether his evidence was legally safe to publish.

His written submission names people he claims were involved in a “malicious and concerted” attempt to see him removed from public life.

Salmond was cleared of a string of sexual assault charges following a High Court trial last year.

Sturgeon has repeatedly denied a breach of the ethics code, which is being specifically investigated in a separate probe.

Ministers who do breach the code would normally be expected to resign from the Scottish Government.