A HOLYROOD inquiry into the Scottish Government’s handling of complaints against Alex Salmond has issued letters to Nicola Sturgeon, her husband and several other key figures requesting answers to a string of questions.

The First Minister has been asked to outline when she was first made aware of an internal investigation into her predecessor, what action she took and the extent of her involvement, if any, in the decision to refer complaints to the police.

Meanwhile her husband Peter Murrell, chief executive of the SNP, has been asked to hand over all relevant party communications relating to the internal Scottish Government complaints.

He has also been asked to provide the inquiry with details of when he first became aware of the complaints against Salmond and who informed him, as well as any discussions or communications he had with ministers or special advisers.

MSPs on the inquiry are looking at how the Scottish Government mishandled a misconduct probe into Salmond and left taxpayers with a £500,000 legal bill.

They have already decided witnesses will be required to take an oath. Now they have published 13 letters sent to key players requesting written evidence by August 4.

This will allow the Committee on the Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints to start taking oral evidence in mid-August.

The inquiry’s focus is the Scottish Government’s in-house probe into complaints of sexual misconduct made against Salmond in 2018 by two female civil servants.

After this became public in August that year, Salmond

resigned from the SNP before launching a crowdfunded judicial review to have the probe’s findings struck down.

In January 2019, the Government admitted in court its probe had been unfair, unlawful and “tainted by apparent bias” because the investigating officer was in prior contact with the complainants, leaving taxpayers with a £500,000 bill for Salmond’s legal costs.

It emerged Sturgeon maintained contact with Salmond while he was being investigated by her officials, leading to accusations she broke the Scottish ministerial code.

Salmond was later accused of sexual assaults against nine women and was acquitted of all charges at the end of his trial in March. A jury found the former FM not guilty on 12 of the sexual assault charges facing him, while another was found not proven.

A further charge of sexually assaulting a 10th woman had previously been dropped by prosecutors.

Salmond had said he was innocent of all the charges against him throughout the two-week trial. He is currently writing a book about the case.