The former Scottish first minister, Alex Salmond, has described sexual misconduct allegations against him as “patently ridiculous”.
The claims date back to December 2013, when Mr Salmond was still in office, according to the Daily Record.
In a statement, he said he was taking the Scottish government to court to challenge the complaints procedure which had been activated against him.
The Scottish government said it would “defend its position vigorously”.
And it said it was vital that any allegations of harassment were treated seriously and investigated thoroughly, regardless of who was said to have been involved.
The Daily Record said Mr Salmond was reported to police over allegations he sexually assaulted two staff members at the first minister’s official residence at Bute House in Edinburgh in December 2013.
Mr Salmond, who had two spells as leader of the pro-independence SNP, led the devolved Scottish government as first minister from 2007.
He quit in the aftermath of the independence referendum in 2014, when Scotland voted to remain in the United Kingdom.In his statement, Mr Salmond refutes all of the allegations against him. He did not say what the claims were, but described some of them as being “patently ridiculous”.
He also said that “on the advice of Senior Counsel” he had been complaining to the Scottish government’s permanent secretary, Leslie Evans, that the complaints procedure was “unjust” and “unlawful”.
The permanent secretary is responsible for the Scottish government’s 5,000 civil servants, and is the principal policy advisor to Nicola Sturgeon, who succeeded Mr Salmond as first minister and SNP leader.
Mr Salmond said: “Even now I have not been allowed to see and therefore to properly challenge the case against me.
“I have not been allowed to see the evidence. I have tried everything, including offers of conciliation, mediation and legal arbitration to resolve these matters both properly and amicably.
“This would have been in everybody’s interests, particularly those of the two complainants. All of these efforts have been rejected.”