THE SCOTTISH Government has dismissed claims that they are trying to “throw up a smokescreen around” the Alex Salmond sexual harassment allegations, insisting that they had never received a complaint about the former first minister’s behaviour before January this year.

Reports in the Daily Mail over the weekend suggested a complaint had been made against Salmond in 2013.

While the Sunday Times claimed the SNP have now received “several” complaints, all of which have been passed to an independent lawyer for investigation.

Scottish Labour demanded a parliamentary statement. MSP Rhoda Grant said: “These new developments in the sexual harassment case against Alex Salmond are extremely serious.

“It is absolutely essential that the complaints procedure – and the timeline to this point, including who knew what and when– are clear and transparent.”

She added: “The SNP government is in danger of throwing up a smokescreen around this situation and eroding public trust in this process.”

The former SNP leader strongly denies the accusations. He was informed of an investigation in March.

Salmond, who has since resigned from the SNP, is taking court action against the Scottish Government over what he believes in an “unlawful” complaints process.

The Scottish Government insisted that it had been as transparent as it could be.

Responding to Labour’s call, a spokesperson for Nicola Sturgeon said: “As has been stated previously the Scottish Government received two complaints in January in relation to Alex Salmond. These could not be ignored or swept under the carpet and were investigated under the procedure agreed by the First Minister in December last year.

“These are the only recorded complaints that the Scottish Government has received about Mr Salmond. Prior to April of this year, the First Minister was not aware that any complaints or concerns had been raised about Mr Salmond. And at no point were any complaints referred to the First Minister under the Fairness at Work policy when she was deputy first minister. As the Scottish Government has already made clear, there are a number of inaccuracies in some of the public statements that have been made and these will be addressed in court.

“However, in light of the pending Court of Session case and continuing police enquiries, it is simply not possible for the Scottish Government to make further information available at this time.

“Of course, as soon as it is able to the Scottish Government will make available as much information as it can, whilst respecting the privacy of those involved. And at that time the First Minister will be more than willing to address these issues in Parliament. However for legal reasons it is not possible to do so at present.

“While this is frustrating, including for the Scottish Government, a responsible opposition must surely recognise the obvious legal reasons for this position. To seek to play politics on issues that demand proper due process risks doing a disservice to those who have raised complaints.”

A spokesman for Salmond said he was “entirely focused on his upcoming judicial review “.