Information body looking into Salmond ‘leak’ claims

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Alex Salmond has reported the Scottish Government to a data watchdog amid concerns over how information about the sexual misconduct allegations against him entered the public domain.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) confirmed that the former first minister of Scotland has raised the issue with the organisation.

Mr Salmond has voiced concern over “leaks” about the case after the claims against him, which he strenuously denies, emerged in 2018.

The Scottish Government has said that a “detailed review” into its handling of Mr Salmond’s data found no evidence of any breach.

The ICO said on Thursday: “Mr Salmond is happy for us to confirm he has raised a concern with the ICO and we are currently making inquiries with the Scottish Government.”

A spokesman for Mr Salmond confirmed that the referral was made in late October last year.

On Tuesday, Mr Salmond won a legal challenge after the Court of Session in Edinburgh ruled that the Scottish Government’s handling of sexual misconduct allegations against him was unlawful.

On the data issue, Mr Salmond said after that hearing: “I’ve been deeply troubled throughout the case by the leaking of confidential information by whoever.

“Any complaints process has to be transparent, balanced, fair and confidential.

“That’s in the interests of the complainers and those complained about.”

In August last year, he called for an investigation into what he has described as the leaking of information surrounding a confidential process.

Regarding the referral to the ICO, a Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “The Scottish Government has never commented on the content of the allegations against Mr Salmond and we will not do so.

“As a precaution, and in line with our legal obligations, we instructed a detailed review into our handling of Mr Salmond’s data in August 2018.

“We are satisfied that information relating to this case has been processed in accordance with our legal and information handling obligations, and that there is no evidence of any data breach.

“We are currently in the process of sharing this information with the Information Commissioner.”

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