NICOLA Sturgeon has “profound questions of integrity” to answer after the blanket acquittal of Alex Salmond on sexual offence charges, the Scottish Tories have said.

The First Minister faces both a Holyrood inquiry and an external inquiry into whether she broke the ministerial code.

HeraldScotland: Camley's Cartoon: Verdict reached in Alex Salmond trial.Camley's Cartoon: Verdict reached in Alex Salmond trial.

These had been on pause because of legal proceedings but will now be reactivated following the outcome of the trial.

READ MORE: SNP MPs call for 'resignations' and party inquiry after Alex Salmond acquitted 

Mr Salmond was found not guilty by a jury of eight women and five men of 10 counts of sexual assault and two of indecent assault.

A charge of sexual assault with intent to rape was not proven.

Tory leader Jackson Carlaw said: “As we all know, Scotland is dealing with a much more severe challenge today than this high-profile court case.

“That said, there are now some very serious questions facing the SNP, the Scottish Government and Nicola Sturgeon.

“The court case may be over, but for them this is just the beginning.

READ MORE: Alex Salmond trial: Former First Minister cleared of attempted rape and a series of sexual assaults 

“Clearly, there is still a lack of information which needs to be fully interrogated, and the Scottish Parliament inquiry will provide that opportunity.

“This remains a national political scandal with profound questions of integrity for the First Minister and her SNP government.

“However, that opportunity must be deferred for the time being while all our efforts and resources concentrate on Covid-19.”