ALEX Salmond worked out the identity of one of the civil servants who accused him of sexual misconduct by trawling social media, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

The First Minister said her predecessor knew the identity of one of the two women who raised formal complaints in 2018 because he had already apologised to her.

She said he worked out the other by checking the Scottish Government’s account on the image-sharing website Flickr, where official photographs are uploaded.

The Government’s top official, the Permanent Secretary Leslie Evans, wrote to Mr Salmond on March 7, 2018 to inform he was being investigated over the complaints.

He then turned investigator himself, Ms Sturgeon told the inquiry into the Salmond affair.

Giving evidence to MSPs about a meeting she and Mr Salmond had at her Glasgow home on April 2, 2018, she said: “Alex Salmond was open with me about the identity of one complainant, because he knew.

“He knew about the identity of one complainant because he knew about the incident, because he had apologised to the person concerned.

“I can’t recall if the name of the other complainant was shared openly on April 2.

“He also knew the identity of that complainant because I remember him talking about how he had gone through the Scottish Government Flickr account to find out who had been with him on particular days.

“He knew the identity of both complainants, in one respect because he knew about the incident and in the other respect through his own investigations.”