NICOLA Sturgeon is under growing pressure to explain why she kept meeting Alex Salmond while he was being investigated by her officials for alleged sexual misconduct.

Labour has written to the Scottish Government demanding greater transparency in relation to to the three discussions the pair held about the investigation.

The party submitted a series of Freedom of Information requests for any minutes or other records of the contacts, and any of Ms Sturgeon’s contacts with the SNP on the matter.

The Conservatives also wrote to the Scottish Government’s top civil servant, Permanent Secretary Leslie Evans, asking if Mr Salmond was the subject of other complaints.

Ms Evans revealed last week that she had received two complaints about Mr Salmond in January this year, and which she had then told him about in March.

The complaints date from 2013, when Mr Salmond was First Minister, one of them alleging an unwanted sexual advance at his Bute House residence, according to the Daily Record.

After Ms Evans told Ms Salmond last week that she intended to go public with details of her findings on the complaints, the former SNP leader took the government to court.

He instigated a judicial review at the Court of Session to determine if the complaints process was fair and lawful, saying he was denied a chance to respond to the claims.

The process was signed off by Ms Sturgeon in December 2017, meaning she and her mentor are now opposite sides of a court battle that could damage the SNP.

Police Scotland are separately examining the misconduct complaints against Ms Salmond.

Besides urging the SNP to suspend Mr Salmond, the opposition parties have locked on to the meetings between Ms Sturgeon and her predecessor about the investigation.

Ms Sturgeon has insisted she was not part of the process, but revealed Mr Salmond himself was the first person to tell her he was the subject of the complaints in April.

She told him would not intervene, but has not said why she felt it necessary to say that.

Mr Salmond has refused to say whether he asked Ms Sturgeon to make the probe go away.

He said on Friday: “I’ve spoken to Nicola... three times over this period of time, certainly in person three times. I have met her three times where this subject’s come up.”

Labour MSP Rhoda Grant said: “The people of Scotland expect full transparency over this most serious of matters, but the SNP government has so far not been forthcoming.

“It is understood that Alex Salmond met the First Minister on multiple occasions to discuss the investigation into allegations of sexual assault made against him. It would be completely unacceptable if the details of those meetings remain hidden from the Scottish people.

“The allegations against Alex Salmond are incredibly serious. His meetings with the head of a government that was investigating him must not be kept under wraps.”

In her letter to Ms Evans, Tory MSP Annie Wells said: “I believe we need to know whether these allegations were ever brought to the attention of the Scottish Government prior to January 2018.

“There is a clear public interest in getting a definitive answer as to whether any complaints against the former First Minister were made in this period and whether any Scottish Government officials or Ministers were informed about them.

“The Scottish Government should instigate an independent review in order to find out the answer. This would show the Scottish Government was being fully transparent about its knowledge of any complaints of alleged misconduct.”

The Scottish Government has been asked for comment.