ALEX Salmond is writing a potentially explosive book about his prosecution on sexual assault charges.

In the wake of his acquittal, the former First Minister is planning to expose what he believes was a conspiracy against him by people in the Scottish Government and the SNP.

In court, Mr Salmond described allegations against him as “deliberate fabrications for a political purpose” and “exaggerations”.

After he was cleared of all 13 charges on Monday, Mr Salmond said his experience over the previous two years had been a “nightmare”.

He also said he intended to reveal fresh evidence which he had hoped to present in court but had been unable to do so for legal reasons.

He said: “At some point that information, facts and that evidence will see the light of day.”

A book is the natural vehicle for that.

Mr Salmond’s last book, The Dream Shall Never Die, his account of the 2014 independence referendum campaign, became a bestseller.

It was also a useful money spinner after he stood down as First Minister.

The former SNP leader is understood to be facing significant legal bills after his trial, in which he was defended by two of Scotland’s top QCs, Gordon Jackson and Shelagh McCall.

A source close to Mr Salmond confirmed he was writing a book and that it would draw on his experience as an accused person and his trial, but also make “more general points”.

The source said Mr Salmond saw his experience as “of little consequence” compared to the collective nightmare of coronavirus, “which places everything else in proportion”.

However the prospect of Mr Salmond pointing the finger of blame will send a shudder through Nicola Sturgeon’s administration and SNP HQ, run by her husband Peter Murrell.

Mr Salmond’s supporters have called for inquiries into how both the Scottish Government and the party dealt with accusations against him.

SNP MSP Alex Neil has said a judge-led inquiry should investigate whether “the institutions of the state” were abused for political purposes to discredit Mr Salmond.

Former SNP depute leader Jim Sillars has also said Mr Salmond showed him “compelling evidence” of a conspiracy in the SNP to stop the former leader returning to frontline politics.

Mr Salmond is understood to be especially hostile towards Ms Sturgeon, his former protegee and deputy, from whom he is now estranged.

His book will face serious legal hurdles, given the indefinite ban on identifying the women who complained against him, one of whom Mr Jackson described in a preliminary hearing as the “prime mover” in a concerted effort to discredit Mr Salmond.

The motive was said to be payback for Mr Salmond scoring a legal victory over the Scottish Government.

Meanwhile, the UK’s information watchdog has found “no evidence” to back Mr Salmond’s belief that Scottish Government officials leaked sensitive material about him to the media.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) spent 14 months checking the matter after a request from the former First Minister himself.

Although it flagged some “concerns in relation to the Scottish Government’s data protection practices”, the ICO found no evidence of anything unlawful.

It said the matter was now closed and it would take no further action.

The ruling was made on March 10, the second day of Mr Salmond’s trial, but has not been reported until now.

In 2018, the Scottish Government held its own investigation into two complaints of misconduct against Mr Salmond relating to his time as FM.

In August that year, after Permanent Secretary Leslie Evans, told Mr Salmond she was about to make the findings public, Mr Salmond tried to prevent it through legal action, but the story came out in the Daily Record.

Mr Salmond said at the time he felt the story was leaked to the paper on purpose to damage him, and asked Ms Evans to investigate what happened.

At a press conference on 24 August 2018, he said: “I’ve asked Leslie Evans to launch an inquiry to find out, because clearly that is a serious breach of confidence.

“I explicitly deny, absolutely, any semblance of criminality. Obviously the leak that was given to a single newspaper was designed to put things in that direction.”

In January 2019, the Scottish Government insisted it had found no evidence of a data breach, and said its investigation had been “kept entirely confidential throughout”.

Mr Salmond reported the matter to the ICO and asked it to investigate.

An ICO spokesperson said: “After conducting thorough enquiries with the Scottish Government, the ICO found no evidence that a third party or an employee from the Scottish Government unlawfully obtained or disclosed personal data relating to Mr Alex Salmond.

“We also found no evidence that Mr Salmond’s personal data was processed unfairly.

“However, during the course of our investigation, we identified some concerns in relation to the Scottish Government’s data protection practices, and we have given them recommendations to improve their compliance with data protection law.

“This matter is now closed and we won’t be taking further action.”

“Under the Victim’s Code, the ICO operates a scheme that gives affected parties the right to ask us to review a decision.”

After the in-house investigation became public, Mr Salmond launched a successful judicial review at the Court of Session over the Government’s handling of it.

SNP ministers were forced to admit that the probe had been flawed from the outset because the investigating official had been in prior contact with the complainers.

This rendered the whole process unfair, unlawful and “tainted by apparent bias”.

The cost to taxpayers in legal fees for both sides was around £1m.

Mr Salmond’s defence team had wanted to present evidence in court that this “shambles” had spurred a “concerted effort” within government to discredit Mr Salmond as payback.

However Judge Lady Dorrian did not allow most of it in case the trial strayed off course.

Some of Mr Salmond’s supporters have suggested he was the victim of a conspiracy embracing the state and the SNP.

The Government aid: “We note the Information Commissioner’s findings.”