Alex Salmond's lawyer to be investigated over 'sex pest' comment

Gordon Jackson QC refers himself to complaints commission after filmed apparently discussing case on train

Adam Forrest
Monday 30 March 2020 09:37 BST
Alex Salmond statement after he is acquitted of attempted rape and sexual assaults

Alex Salmond’s QC has referred himself to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission after he was filmed apparently discussing the case on a train before the former first minister was acquitted of sexual assault charges.

Gordon Jackson was filmed appearing to make remarks on a train during the course of the High Court trial in Edinburgh, which concluded on 23 March, and the video was obtained by The Sunday Times.

The lawyer appears to say Mr Salmond could be seen as “a sex pest but he’s not charged with that”. However, Mr Jackson, Dean of the Faculty of Advocates, said he does not regard the former first minister in that way.

He said: “I have decided that the proper course of action is to self-refer this matter to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC) and that has been done. It will be for the Commission to consider this matter.

“To be clear, however, I do not regard Alex Salmond as a ‘sex pest’, and any contrary impression is wrong. I also deeply regret the distress and difficulties which have been caused, but given the reference to the SLCC it would not be appropriate for me to comment further.”

Roddy Dunlop, QC, Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Advocates, said: “The Faculty takes this matter extremely seriously. It plainly warrants investigation, but as the Dean has self-referred to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, it would not be appropriate for the Faculty to comment further.”

The former SNP leader was acquitted of attempted rape and a series of sexual assaults, including one with intent to rape, following an 11-day trial. The jury returned not guilty verdicts on 12 charges and returned a not proven verdict on a charge of sexual assault with intent to rape.

On Sunday, the nine women who made sexual assault allegations against Mr Salmond released a statement through Rape Crisis Scotland saying they have been left “devastated” after he was cleared in court of all charges.

Rape Crisis Scotland has also called for a full investigation of the video footage.

A statement issued by Mr Salmond’s representative said: “Mr Salmond was acquitted on all charges against him on Monday 23 March 2020 by a jury of nine women and six men (eight women and five men at the time of verdict) after hearing all the evidence in a two week trial.

“He made a statement on the steps of the High Court and said that he would make no further public comment on these matters until after the coronavirus crisis was over.”

Additional reporting by PA

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in