THE Holyrood inquiry into the Alex Salmond affair has told the former first minister it is “becoming frustrated” at his repeated failure to submit his main evidence.

MSPs acknowledged Mr Salmond’s lawyers had already lodged material, but said it was "imperative" that he now make his own substantive written submission.

It complained about his pick-n-mix approach of making points “of his own selection.. when he wishes” while failing to produce what MSPs considered a priority.

The grumbling is in a new letter to Mr Salmond’s lawyer, David McKie of Levy & McRae, and comes on top of a “firm request” for the submission last month. 

The cross-party committee is investigating how the Scottish Government bungled a probe into sexual misconduct claims against Mr Salmond in 2018.

Mr Salmond had the probe set aside in court by showing it was “tainted by apparent bias”, a Government error that left taxpayers with a £512,000 bill for his costs.

The inquiry first wrote to Mr Salmond on July 7 for his side of the story, but he has yet to make a written submission, citing legal obstacles to a comprehensive account.

He has now missed deadlines on August 4, September 23, October 2 and October 27.

However he had shared a series of court productions with the inquiry.

In her letter to Mr McKie, inquiry convener Linda Fabiani said: “While the Committee acknowledges your client has provided these productions, we are still awaiting a written submission from your client as originally requested in July. 

“The Committee has set numerous deadlines for the submission of the account of the Former First Minister which needs to cover the complaints handling process, the judicial review and the communications that make up the Ministerial Code phase of the inquiry.”

She said the inquiry had already assisted Mr Salmond by tasking parliament officials to prepare some of his documents for safe publication, and had also asked the court and Government for documents in line with his suggestions.

MSPs this week also asked the Lord Advocate for material the Crown Office held which was obtained for Mr Salmond’s criminal trial but might also be relevant to the civil case inquiry.

Ms Fabiani said: “The Committee acknowledges therefore the restrictions placed on the Former First Minister in relation to the provision of documents but repeats what is has said previously on numerous occasions that it is imperative that Mr Salmond provides his account by way of a written submission. 

“The Committee has also repeatedly said that your client should make a submission to the extent to which he is able at this point and can provide supplementary evidence and documentation at a later date if need be. 

“Despite the legal constraints, the Committee continues to believe that there is evidence that Mr Salmond can share at this stage

“Indeed, when the Committee has written to you seeking insight on particular matters, such as about individuals due to attend the Commission and Diligence Mr Salmond has provided this information. 

“In addition, partial evidence has also been provided through the numerous letters which you have sent the Committee, so there clearly is information that Mr Salmond can readily share at this stage. 

“The Committee also publishes your unprompted letters in the interests of openness and transparency but is becoming frustrated that Mr Salmond considers that he can make points of his own selection to the Committee, when he wishes, whilst not providing information that the Committee prioritises the most to progress its scrutiny. 

“As mentioned above, if restrictions are lifted on other documents later in this process, Mr Salmond may submit supplementary evidence. 

“However, I repeat, again, the Committee’s request for a substantive written submission from Mr Salmond at this point.”

Mr Salmond has said he wants to give the inquiry material his defence team obtained in the run-up to his criminal trial in March, at which he was acquitted on all counts of sexual assault. 

However the Crown Office has warned him he could be prosecuted if he did.

He said this and other legal limitations stopped him giving the full personal account he thought the inquiry deserved, although he has provided it with other forms of evidence.

Mr Salmond’s supporters claim the misconduct probe and subsequent trial were part of a high-level government and SNP plot to stop him making a political comeback and rivalling Ms Sturgeon, a theory she has dismissed as “a heap of nonsense”.