NICOLA Sturgeon is facing questions over whether she gave Holyrood an accurate account of her knowledge of sexual misconduct allegations against Alex Salmond.

The First Minister told MSPs last year that Mr Salmond had told her himself in April 2018 about being under investigation by Scottish Government officials.

Ms Sturgeon was not supposed to know the Government’s top official, permanent secretary Leslie Evans, was then overseeing a probe into complaints from two civil servants.

Mr Salmond later challenged the investigation in court, forcing the Scottish Government to admit it had been unlawful, unfair and “tainted by apparent bias”.

The collapse of the Government’s case left taxpayers with a £500,000 legal bill for Mr Salmond’s costs, and a Holyrood committee is now investigating what happened.

Ms Sturgeon and Mr Salmond will both give evidence under oath.

On 8 January 2019, Ms Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament: “On 2 April [2018], he [Mr Salmond] informed me about the complaints against him, which - of course - in line with the procedure, the permanent secretary had not done.”

Two days later, Ms Sturgeon told the media she didn’t know what Mr Salmond wanted to talk to her about when he visited her Glasgow home on 2 April.

She said: “From memory, he wanted to come and tell me something I needed to know in my role as party leader. But at that point at which he came to see me I didn’t know what the subject of it was.”

However Sky News reported an account of a meeting involving Ms Sturgeon three days before she met Mr Salmond which suggested she would have known.

The meeting was on 29 March 2018 in Ms Sturgeon’s Holyrood office and also involved a government official and Mr Salmond’s former chief of staff Geoff Aberdein.

The account said: “The conversation was around the fact of the complaints, without discussing the specifics of them.

“There was discussion about the investigation, the process of it, the fact it was a civil service investigation being conducted by civil servants.”

Mr Aberdein is also due to give evidence to the Holyrood inquiry.

Scottish LibDem MP Christine Jardine said she was concerned about “inconsistencies”, adding: “What we need is to know whether the First Minister deliberately, or by mistake, misled parliament.”

The Scottish Tories said: “This revelation suggests that the First Minister not only presided over a botched enquiry but she has not been honest about her own dealings either. Ms Sturgeon must explain herself to Holyrood.”

The Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The First Minister has made clear she stands by what she said in Parliament.

“We welcome the opportunity which the parliamentary inquiry will bring to address issues which have been raised.”

After Mr Salmond won his civil case against the Government in 2019 he was charged with sexual assault - he was cleared on all 13 counts in March this year.