POLICE are probing an allegation of sexual assault made against the former SNP head of one of Scotland’s largest local authorities.

Jordan Linden, a former council leader in North Lanarkshire, is accused of having sexually harassed Cammie McManus during a trip abroad in 2017.

Linden, who strongly denies any wrongdoing, resigned as SNP group leader last year amid the allegations, before resigning as a councillor altogether in March.

McManus resigned from the SNP group over the party’s handling of his complaint against Linden and now sits as an independent.

The SNP group on North Lanarkshire council has seen six other councillors expelled or resign in recent weeks and months over the scandal.

READ MORE: Mass resignations 'could have been avoided' in 'beyond toxic' council if SNP listened

The five who have resigned – Beth Baudo, Gerry Brennan, Greg Lennon, Barry McLuskey and McManus – wrote to SNP national secretary Lorna Finn in March alleging there had been “continual failings by the North Lanarkshire SNP leadership team”, including a failure to investigate sexual misconduct and “abuse of power”.

Linden is also facing accusations from four other men, according to the Sunday Mail, though three of them are yet to speak to the police.

These include Jack O’Hara, a former member of the Scottish Youth Parliament, who has contacted investigators alleging that Linden sent him semi-nude images and sexually explicit messages when he was just 14. Linden is alleged to have been 21 at the time.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Officers are investigating a report of a sexual assault incident having taken place in 2017. Enquiries are at an early stage and ongoing.”

The National: Humza Yousaf visited North Lanarkshire on Saturday

First Minister Humza Yousaf (above) was asked about the ongoing scandal during a visit to Bellshill on Saturday – the ward where a by-election will be held on June 15 to fill the seat made vacant by Linden’s resignation.

Speaking alongside candidate Joseph Budd, Yousaf pledged the party would investigate how the situation was handled.

The First Minister said: “We’re absolutely holding our hands up. I as First Minister and leader of the party say that things of course could have been handled better. That’s why we’ll do the investigation.

“What we’ve got here now in North Lanarkshire is a Labour council propped up by, frankly, the Conservatives and that’s not serving the people of this area well at all.”

The SNP took control of North Lanarkshire for the first time in May 2022 after becoming the largest group on the council in the local elections that same month.

But Linden’s resignation as group leader saw the administration collapse within just months, allowing Labour to regain control over the local authority.

Yousaf accepted it had been a “challenging” period for the SNP’s North Lanarkshire group, noting his own time as leader had also posed challenges.

But he said he was “going in confident” to the by-election.

An SNP spokesperson said: “Mr Linden is not an SNP member. We have been very clear that any allegation of criminality is for the police to look into, not a political party.”

Linden said: “As I have outlined before, and I do so again, I do not accept the allegations that are being made.”