Alex Salmond receives £500,000 in legal costs from Scottish Government over botched conduct probe
Alex Salmond has received £500,000 in legal costs from the Scottish Government over a collapsed internal probe into complaints about his behaviour while First Minister.
Opposition MSPs have now stepped up calls for Holyrood to "get to the bottom" of the failed inquiry.
It comes after the ex-SNP leader claimed a dramatic court victory over the Government he once led in January of this year.
It followed complaints which were made by two civil servants.Salmond was subsequently subsequently charged with a string of sexual offences, including attempted rape. He denies all charges.
A Scottish Government spokesman said today: “We can confirm that final settlement of £512,250 has been made to Mr Salmond for legal costs arising from his petition for judicial review.” The Court of Session ruled that Scottish Government had acted illegally over the way it handled the complaints against the ex-SNP leader after complaints were made by two civil servants.
MSPs at Holyrood have established a special committee to investigate what went wrong with the Scottish Government's probe, but it has been suspended until the criminal case is disposed of.
Conservative MSP Donald Cameron, a member of the Committee on the Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints, slammed the payment.
“It is outrageous that over half a million pounds has been wasted thanks to the botched handling of this investigation," he said.
“This is taxpayers’ money that will be handed over to Alex Salmond thanks to the appalling way these complaints were dealt with.
“In addition to this wasted money, the two people who made these complaints have been badly let down by the Scottish Government.
“That is exactly why the Holyrood inquiry that we called for is necessary.
“This scandal cannot simply be swept under the carpet, and parliament must get to the bottom of exactly what happened.”
The payout also came under fire from Liberal Democrat MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton.
“Parliament will have to get to the bottom of this expensive and flawed inquiry,” he said.