The court of session has thrown out a Scottish Government appeal against the Scottish Information Commissioner relating to a freedom of information (FOI) request.

A Mr Benjamin Harrop submitted a request for information relating to an investigation into whether Nicola Sturgeon, the former First Minister, breached the ministerial code in relation to an investigation into her predecessor, Alex Salmond.

Ms Sturgeon met with Mr Salmond’s former chief of staff, Geoff Aberdein, on 29 March 2018 and subsequently met three times with Mr Salmond between 2 April and 18 July 2018.

It was alleged that she did not properly record these meetings, and it was questioned whether she attempted to influence the conduct of the internal investigation into Mr Salmond’s behaviour.

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Ms Sturgeon referred herself to the ministerial code, an investigation was carried out and it was determined she was not in breach.

Mr Harrop sent in an FOI asking for submissions to the investigation, which the Scottish Government said it did not hold as it had been carried out independently by James Hamilton.

They also relied on the exemption in section 30(c) of the Act that disclosure of the information would cause substantial prejudice to the effective conduct of public affairs.

The Information Commissioner found ministers were wrong to say they did not hold the information - it was the Scottish Government which had put in place the procedure that information was to be restricted to Mr Hamilton and therefore could revoke it if it wished to.

That was appealed, with ministers arguing that the term "held" had been applied to broadly, as the information was stored on secure servers on behalf of Mr Hamilton, as he did not have such security.

However, that was thrown out by the Court of Session which said it was satisfied the information was held by the Scottish Government, with full written reasons to be published in due course.

That does not mean that the information will be made public, however - ministers will have to carry out a fresh review and provide a new response to Mr Harrop, but the exemption cited under section 30 could still be applied.