THE bombshell meeting at which Nicola Sturgeon was told of sexual misconduct allegations against Alex Salmond was “removed” from her ministerial diary, it has been claimed.

Labour MSP Jackie Baillie, who is part of the Holyrood inquiry investigating the Salmond affair, said the First Minister had to explain the mystery “fully and honestly”.

Ms Baillie has tabled a series of parliamentary questions to get to the bottom of the matter.

They include when the meeting “was first placed in the ministerial diary, by whom, and on whose instruction” and when it was “removed from the ministerial diary, by whom, and on whose instruction”.

The inquiry is looking at how the Scottish Government botched a probe into sexual misconduct claims levelled against Mr Salmond in 2018.

The former first minister had the exercise overturned in a judicial review, showing it was “tainted by apparent bias”, a flaw that left taxpayers with a £512,000 bill for costs.

After the Government’s case fell apart in January 2019, Ms Sturgeon told MSPs she had three meetings and two calls with Mr Salmond while he was investigated by her officials.

She said the first was on April 2, 2018 at her home in Glasgow, where Mr Salmond told her himself that he was under investigation.

However it later emerged at Mr Salmond’s trial, where he was acquitted of sexual assault, that Ms Sturgeon was alerted to the probe four days earlier, on March 29, 2018.

She was told by Mr Salmond’s former chief of staff, Geoff Aberdein, in a meeting in her Holyrood office.

In her written evidence to the inquiry, Ms Sturgeon said she had “forgotten” about her meeting with Mr Aberdein, despite the explosive nature of the discussion, as it had been “in the midst of a busy day” after FMQs. 

She said: “I had forgotten that this encounter had taken place until I was reminded of it in, I think, late January/early February 2019.” 

Her failure to mention the meeting to MSPs has led to claims, which she denies, that she misled parliament.

One MSP has said it would be a “resignation matter” if the First Minister has misled Holyrood.

Ms Baillie’s questions are designed to find out exactly who in Ms Sturgeon’s inner circle knew of her meeting with Mr Aberdein.

Besides the diary entry, Ms Baillie also asked if Ms Sturgeon or her chief of staff, Liz Lloyd, met Mr Aberdein prior to March 29, 2018, and if so what was discussed.

She also asked “the purpose.. of the meeting between the First Minister and the former Chief of Staff to Alex Salmond, Geoff Aberdein, on 29 March 2018, and who arranged it”.

Ms Baillie said: “I am disappointed at the First Minister’s deficient powers of recall. I am sure she did not intend to mislead the committee or the people of Scotland.

“I sincerely hope that she was not trying to lead the committee into a wilderness of mirrors in order to evade scrutiny of her actions.

“I am sure that the First Minister will answer my questions fully and honestly so that the committee and the public will understand the circumstances of this meeting and any other prior meetings with either her or her Chief of Staff and Geoff Aberdein. 

“The First Minister must tell us exactly when she knew of these allegations and just what she discussed with Geoff Aberdein.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The First Minister stands by what she has said to Parliament and by her written evidence to the committee, and looks forward to answering questions at the committee when they decide to ask her to appear.”