Alex Salmond calls for police investigation into ‘politically inspired’ leak
Alex Salmond says leak ‘does require further police investigation’
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Alex Salmond has called for a police investigation into what he has claimed was a “politically inspired” leak to the Daily Record about complaints against him. The former Scottish first minister, who made his long-awaited appearance at a Scottish Parliament inquiry today, said the “hugely serious matter” required further investigation. The demand followed questions from Jackie Ballie, deputy leader of the Scottish Labour Party.
Ms Ballie pressed the former Scottish first minister on the Daily Record story on August 23, 2018 in which news of the allegations against him first appeared.
Mr Salmond responded: “If civil servants do leak, they don’t leak to the political editor of the Daily Record.
“Therefore I think the leak was politically inspired.
“I think the matter shouldn’t be at an end, I think it’s a hugely serious matter.”
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He added: “Where has been the police investigation ordered by the Crown Office into what has been for many people concerned, not least the complainers, a hugely distressing leak to the Daily Record in August 2018?
“As far as I know there has been nothing said or done by the Crown Office in terms of trying to determine where that leak came from.
“I think it does require further police investigation – I do believe I know the identity but I’m not here to speculate on individuals that I cannot substantiate.”
Mr Salmond went on to say that the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) investigated the leak and were “sympathetic that the source of the leak was from within the Scottish Government”.
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He added that an internal review by the Scottish Government itself indicated 23 people had access to the information.
Mr Salmond, who called the leak “criminal,” said the ICO had “no ability to go beyond that in terms of determining who might be responsible”.
The former Scottish first minister insisted: “Whoever did that should answer for what is a very, very serious matter which caused enormous distress and the implications that followed.”
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Former BBC political presenter Andrew Neil tweeted in reaction to the exchange: “Alex Salmond knows who leaked to the Daily Record in August 2018.
“He knows it was done for political purposes to do him down. He knows it was not a civil servant (‘they rarely leak and never to the Record’).”
The current inquiry is examining the Scottish government’s botched handling of sexual assault allegations against Mr Salmond.
Mr Salmond was cleared of 13 charges of sexual assault after a trial last year.
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