ALEX Salmond has referred the Scottish Government to an information watchdog after sexual harassment claims against him were apparently leaked to the media.

The former First Minister’s decision to report ministers to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) came as the crisis surrounding the allegations continued to engulf the SNP administration.

Nicola Sturgeon was repeatedly challenged over her handling of the complaints during First Minister’s Questions.

Mr Salmond won a legal battle with the Scottish Government earlier this week after it admitted it carried out a flawed investigation into complaints from two women about his behaviour.

He now wants a probe into how the claims got into the public domain.

The ICO told the BBC: "Mr Salmond is happy for us to confirm he has raised a concern with the ICO and we are currently making enquiries with the Scottish Government."

Allegations against Mr Salmond were first reported in the Daily Record in August. He strongly refutes the claims.

The former SNP leader previously wrote to the Scottish Government’s Permanent Secretary Leslie Evans calling for an investigation into leaks.

A Scottish Government spokesman insisted its investigatory process was kept "entirely confidential".

He said: "The Scottish Government has never commented on the content of the allegations against Mr Salmond and we will not do so.

"As a precaution and in line with our legal obligations, we instructed a detailed review into our handling of Mr Salmond's data in August, 2018.

"We are satisfied that information relating to this case has been processed in accordance with our legal and information handling obligations, and that there is no evidence of any data breach.

"We are currently in the process of sharing this information with the Information Commissioner."