THE Scottish Greens would back a no-confidence vote in John Swinney this week if MSPs believe not all legal advice has been handed over by the Scottish Government relating to the Alex Salmond judicial review.

Douglas Ross's party put down a no-confidence motion in the Deputy First Minister last week after the Scottish Government had not handed over legal advice it received on the case despite two parliamentary votes in November backing the move.

However, after the Greens stepped in to say they would back the motion, the government handed over some of the documents and the vote did not go ahead.

As the SNP do not have a majority in parliament, the Deputy First Minister must have the backing of another party to survive a no-confidence motion.

Last week all the opposition parties said they would support the Tories' motion. Under this threat, Swinney then handed over some legal papers to MSPs.

Now the Tories say some of the legal advice has been held back from the Holyrood inquiry into the government's mishandling of the complaints made against Salmond and have decided to go ahead with the vote.

Patrick Harvie's party have said they will back the motion if the committee believes it has not received all the papers it wants.

A spokesperson for the Scottish Greens said: "Our position remains unchanged: The government must provide the committee with all the evidence it requires. It’s for the committee to determine whether this has happened or not, not the Scottish Conservative Party."

The vote will be held on Tuesday or Wednesday - subject to the decision of the parliamentary bureau.

Ahead of Nicola Sturgeon’s committee appearance last Wednesday, Swinney said he had released all “key legal advice” from the Salmond judicial review case.

However, on Friday, further legal advice was published showing the government's senior counsel Roddy Dunlop QC pleading with the government not to “plough on regardless” on December 17, 2018, several weeks before the Scottish Government conceded the case.

Dunlop also advised on December 7 that year that there were only two options left and “I doubt either will work". This was in response to the First Minister and Permanent Secretary disputing advice from December 6 that the “least worst option” was to concede the case.

The new documents revealed both Dunlop and junior counsel Christine O'Neill were considering “very seriously” to resign as early as December 10.

In addition the Tories claim legal advice has also still not been released from consultations with lawyers, including a meeting attended by the First Minister, her chief of staff Liz Lloyd and Permanent Secretary Leslie Evans on November 13, 2018.

Ross said: “John Swinney ignored two votes of the Scottish Parliament and committee requests for months until his job was on the line.

"He then claimed to have released all the key legal advice before Nicola Sturgeon’s evidence session, which is blatantly untrue.

"Anyone can now see that he manipulated the flow of information to a parliament inquiry to protect the First Minister from having to respond to devastating evidence that she personally 'discounted' and disputed the advice of Queen’s Counsel.

“The Deputy First Minister’s press statement on Friday was also inaccurate and misleading. He claimed that the documents showed the government did not ignore advice from counsel, which was contradicted by the very documents he published."

"On December 17, 2018, Roddy Dunlop QC wrote that his advice had been “discounted.”

“John Swinney’s position has become untenable. He has disrespected the Scottish Parliament repeatedly, blatantly withheld evidence from a parliamentary inquiry, and tried to mislead the public. 

“He has had more than enough chances to be transparent but his actions are getting more murkier and inexcusable as the weeks go on.

“We are proceeding with the vote of no confidence. I urge all opposition parties to support it to uphold the reputation of the Scottish Parliament and to ensure that in future, votes of the Parliament are respected by the Scottish Government.”

The Holyrood inquiry is at its final stages of looking at how the Scottish Government mishandled a harassment probe into Salmond in 2018, which the fomer first minister had set aside in a Judicial Review challenge.

After the late disclosure of information that the investigating officer had prior contact with the two complainants, the Court of Session ruled the process had been unfair, unlawful and “tainted by apparent bias”. Salmond was awarded above-average costs, leaving taxpayers with a £512,000 bill.

The Government’s key mistake was appointing investigating officer, Judith McKinnon, who had extensive prior involvement with the former First Minister's accusers, known as Ms A and Ms B - which was contrary to the Government’s own harassment complaints procedure, which said the investigating officer should have no prior involvement.

Despite external counsel flagging McKinnon’s role as a “serious problem” on October 31, 2018, Government law officers appeared determined to carry on.

Sturgeon and Evans discussed the case with counsel on November 13, but Swinney said the Government had no minutes of it.

By December 6, Dunlop QC and O’Neill advised that the “least worst option” would be to give up.

But the Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC, the Government’s senior law officer, said there was “no question of conceding”.

A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: “As the Deputy First Minister has made very clear, given the exceptional circumstances in which the integrity of the Government, Parliament and other key institutions were being challenged, we have taken unprecedented steps to provide the Committee with the information it has requested in line with data protection, confidentiality and legal restrictions – and we have released a huge amount of documentation including legal advice documents.

“On Tuesday, the Government, exceptionally, published legal advice at key stages in the judicial review process, ahead of the First Minister’s eight-hour evidence session, and, following the completion of statutory and data protection checks, further legal documents were also published on Thursday and Friday.

"We have now disclosed all of the formal written advice notes received from external Counsel during the judicial review, as well as a number of other relevant previously legally privileged documents.

“As the Deputy First Minister has set out, these documents, taken in their entirety, utterly disprove the conspiracy theory that the Scottish Government delayed the concession of the judicial review or ignored advice from counsel. The information in the documents is consistent with information already shared with the Committee in evidence.”