Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon timeline: How allegations of harassment sparked political turmoil

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP appears before the Scottish Parliament Committee on the Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints today 03/03/2021. The committee met in Committee room 2 at the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh.  Pic - Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament. 03 March 2021.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP appears before the Scottish Parliament Committee on the Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints today 03/03/2021. The committee met in Committee room 2 at the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh. Pic - Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament. 03 March 2021.

The turmoil unleashed by the Scottish Government’s handling of complaints about Alex Salmond is finally coming to a head, but the entire saga dates back years, as our timeline shows here.

Decisions taken by officials behind closed doors in 2017 set off a chain of events that led to an independent probe on whether First Minister Nicola Sturgeon broke the ministerial code of conduct.

The government’s handling of complaints against former leader Mr Salmond provoked a judicial review in court, which found the process “unlawful”. A government review was ordered into any changes that could be made to improve the official complaints system.

And a cross-party group of MSPs probed the entire mess in what has become a scandal all on its own, with leaks and claims of political partisan activity in the run up to a Holyrood election.

Meanwhile, there was a criminal trial that ended with Mr Salmond acquitted of all charges.

It’s easy to lose track so here is our timeline of key events, starting where this entire exercise was supposed to say focused: rooting out inappropriate conduct.

Timeline of key events

October 31 2017: First Minister Nicola Sturgeon orders a review of the Scottish Government’s “policies and processes for addressing inappropriate conduct” in the wake of the MeToo movement. The review is led by the Government’s most senior civil servant, Permanent Secretary Leslie Evans.

January 2018: Allegations about Alex Salmond’s conduct are sent to the Scottish Government by two women.

March 2018: Mr Salmond is told about the probe. It’s being overseen by civil servant Judith Mackinnon, who already had contact with the women who complained. Mr Salmond’s former aide, Geoff Aberdein, meets Ms Sturgeon in Parliament on the 29th.

April 2018: Mr Salmond meets Ms Sturgeon at her home in Glasgow on the 2nd. The pair talk on the phone on the 23rd.

Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon on the front benches in 2008.

June 2018: Mr Salmond and Ms Sturgeon meet twice – on the 7th in Aberdeen during the SNP party conference and on the 14th at the first minister’s home in Glasgow.

August 23 2018: News breaks of the Scottish Government’s sexual harassment investigation. Mr Salmond immediately denies misconduct and launches a judicial review of the process.

September 14 2018: Police confirm a separate investigation has begun.

October 31 2018: Government legal counsel Roddy Dunlop QC advises Mr Salmond will probably win but ministers push on.

January 8 2019: The government concedes the case. Ms Sturgeon refers herself for investigation under the terms of the ministerial code, with independent adviser James Hamilton taking the lead.

February 6 2019: A Holyrood inquiry is set up and put on hold. It will look into the government’s handling of the process once the separate court case is over.

Committee convener Linda Fabiani.

November 21 2019: Mr Salmond pleads not guilty to multiple charges at the High Court in Edinburgh.

March 23 2020: Mr Salmond is acquitted of all charges. The jury returns not guilty verdicts on 12 charges, including attempted rape, and a further not proven verdict is returned on a charge of sexual assault with intent to rape.

February 8 2021: SNP chief executive Peter Murrell, who is married to Ms Sturgeon, faces accusations by Holyrood’s inquiry of telling “mistruths”. A series of rows break out about publishing Mr Salmond’s version of events.

February 26: Mr Salmond appears at the inquiry and tells MSPs Scotland’s leadership has failed.

Former first minister Alex Salmond at Holyrood.

March 3: Nicola Sturgeon appears at the inquiry, rejecting Mr Salmond’s claims and standing by her version of events about who said what and when.

March 10: Vote of no confidence pushed into parliament by Conservatives, who fail to get a majority on side. Greens back Mr Swinney, who survives.

March 18: A leaked decision from the Holyrood inquiry reveals MSPs split on party lines to conclude Ms Sturgeon potentially breached the code of conduct. It causes a furious backlash and puts Ms Sturgeon under more pressure. Tories threaten a motion of no confidence in the First Minister.

March 22: Independent adviser James Hamilton publishes his long awaited investigation and clears Nicola Sturgeon of allegations she breached the ministerial code of conduct.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]