The Scottish Conservatives have vowed to push ahead with a motion of no confidence in John Swinney on Thursday if the Scottish Government does not publish key legal advice by then.
A motion was formally lodged with Scottish Parliament officials today meaning a vote could take place before the end of the week.
The Tories decided against holding the vote on Tuesday as SNP ministers belatedly agreed to provide some of the legal advice when it became apparent they would lose the Vote of No Confidence.
MSPs have twice voted to compel the Scottish Government to produce legal advice taken as part of the legal challenge brought by Salmond over its harassment complaints procedure.
However, ministers have so far not handed the advice over and Swinney, who has dealt with the issue for the Government, now faces a risk to his job.
The Scottish Government's investigation into sexual harassment complaints against Salmond was ruled to be unlawful and “tainted with apparent bias” by a court.
MSPs want to know when the Government knew its legal defence was doomed.
The motion lodged by the Tories reads: "That the Parliament has no confidence in the Deputy First Minister, in light of the Scottish Government's continued failure to publish legal advice called for in two resolutions of the Parliament on 4 and 25 November 2020."
Tory MSP Murdo Fraser, a member of the Salmond Inquiry, said: "John Swinney’s response to the Scottish Parliament’s requests for the legal advice have been a disgrace from start to finish.
“He is showing contempt for the inquiry committee and the entire parliament.
“The Deputy First Minister grandstanded about finally providing hand-picked parts of the legal advice, overlooking that he only acted when his job was on the line.
“Whatever he provides may not even be published before the First Minister’s evidence session, allowing her to avoid questions on it and dodge scrutiny yet again.
“The Scottish Conservatives will hold a No Confidence vote in the Deputy First Minister this Thursday if he has not respected the will of Parliament by then.”
Earlier, Scotland’s top law officer has rejected suggestions his “dual role” should be split in the wake of the Alex Salmond Inquiry controversy.
Lord Advocate James Wolffe has been under fire after the Parliament redacted some of Salmond’s evidence following a warning by the Crown Office.
However, he said he is “satisfied” he can be head of the Crown Office while at the same time serving as the Government’s legal adviser.
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