ALEX Salmond has appeared again in court today in relation to a series of alleged sex crimes against ten women while First Minister.

Mr Salmond returned to the High Court in Edinburgh for the continuation of a preliminary hearing held before Lady Dorrian in November.

After that previous appearance, Mr Salmond, 65, said he had entered a not guilty plea to all 14 charges and would “vigorously” defend his position.

A four-week criminal trial is due to start on March 9.

The former First Minister is accused of one count of attempted rape, one of sexual assault with intent to rape, ten other counts of sexual assault, and two counts of indecent assault.

The alleged incidents date from June 2008 to November 2014, and nine of the charges relate to alleged incidents at Bute House, his former official residence in Edinburgh.

Mr Salmond was originally charged with a slightly different set of offences when he appeared during a brief private hearing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in January of 2019.

They then included two charges of attempted rape, nine of sexual assault, two of indecent assault and one breach of the peace.

Mr Salmond was First Minister from 2007 to 2014, when he stood down after the No result in the independence referendum.

He is represented by Gordon Jackson QC.