Alex Salmond charged with attempted rape

The former First Minister has been brought before Edinburgh Sheriffs court this afternoon after being arrested and charged by Police Scotland on Wednesday night.

Salmond face 14 charges at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, most seriously of two attempted rapes and nine sexual assaults. He also faces charges including breach of the peace and indecent assault.

Earlier Police Scotland had refused to name Salmond, with a spokesman only stating that: “We can confirm a 64-year-old man has been arrested and charged and a report has been sent to the procurator fiscal.”

The former SNP leader had been under investigation following revelations that he was facing a Scottish government inquiry into allegations by two civil servants of sexual harassment.

Salmond has denied that he is guilty of any wrongdoing, and outside the court, Mr Salmond said: "Now that these proceedings, criminal proceedings, are live it is important to respect the court."

"And therefore, the only thing I can say is I refute absolutely these allegations of criminality and I'll defend myself to the utmost in court."

Nicola Sturgeon said the charges would be“a shock to many people", but added:“These are now live criminal proceedings and that means now more than ever it would be completely inappropriate for me or anyone else for that matter to make any comment on the situation.”

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