Alex Salmond announces new pro-Independence party

File photo dated 23/3/2020 of Alex Salmond. The Alex Salmond inquiry has reportedly concluded it is

File photo dated 23/3/2020 of Alex Salmond. The Alex Salmond inquiry has reportedly concluded it is "hard to believe" Nicola Sturgeon did not know of concerns about the former first minister's behaviour before November 2017, as she claimed. Issue date: Friday March 19, 2021. - Credit: PA

Scotland’s former first minister Alex Salmond has announced he is setting up a new political party to run in the Scottish Parliament elections in May.

Salmond made the announcement during a public statement on Friday afternoon.

The Alba Party is expected to field at least four candidates in each regional list at this May's elections.

It comes after he announced plans to take legal action over the “conduct” of the Scottish government’s top civil servant Leslie Evans.

He said the permanent secretary failed to take “real responsibility” for failings highlighted in two reports this week.

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Salmond said his announcement of the legal action on Wednesday would be his “final statement” on the reports.

The topic of his statement on Friday has not been disclosed.

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Earlier this week, two reports were published related to the Scottish government’s handling of harassment complaints against Salmond.

James Hamilton’s report into whether first minister Nicola Sturgeon breached the ministerial code concluded she did not do so with regard to the four allegations he looked into.

But the Scottish parliament committee examining the handling of harassment complaints found Sturgeon misled parliament and identified a number of failings.

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