ALEX Salmond has put pressure on the country's top civil servant to investigate the sex harassment claims leak.

The former First Minister has sent a legal letter to Leslie Evans, the Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government, over the "flagrant" breach of confidentiality that led to media reports about the anonymous allegations.

They appeared as Salmond – who denies any wrongdoing – prepared to take the Scottish Government to court over its handling of the internal investigation, with the Daily Record reporting that it has seen the wording of a complaint by one of the women said to have been targeted by Salmond.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon says no legal basis to suspend Alex Salmond from SNP

A Holyrood spokesperson has said the eight-month process has been "entirely confidential", while Evans has stated that the Scottish Government "will defend its position vigorously" against "significant inaccuracies" in a statement by the former SNP leader on his intention to take the institution to court over the matter.

And Nicola Sturgeon – who has been asked to disclose details of all contact with Salmond on the matter – has emphasised the need for "due process".

But yesterday a spokesperson for Salmond confirmed his lawyers have asked Evans to "confirm or deny weekend reports that she was refusing to instigate a formal leak enquiry".

The concerns are also said to relate to breaches of the Data Protection Act. The spokesperson said: "It is manifestly absurd for the Permanent Secretary to claim that her procedure is 'confidential' when it is splashed over the front pages, emanating from briefings to a single newspaper.

"As explained many times now, confidentiality on such matters is crucial to both complainers and those complained about. Without it those who wish to make a complaint can have no confidence in the system protecting them while those complained about are denied fairness.

"Someone within the Scottish Government has flagrantly, and repeatedly, breached that requirement and the Permanent Secretary is now required to try and find out who it was.”

READ: Full statement from permanent secretary on Alex Salmond allegations

Meanwhile, Labour and the Tories have ramped up pressure on Sturgeon to deliver "full transparency" on the investigation, which centres around conduct towards two staff members in 2013.

The claims have been handed to Police Scotland and Tory Annie Wells said: "We need to know whether these allegations were ever brought to the attention of the Scottish Government prior to January 2018.

"There is a clear public interest in getting a definitive answer."

Labour's Rhoda Grant said: "The people of Scotland expect full transparency over this."