A former adviser to Alex Salmond who was a witness for the defence during his trial has branded him a “creep”.
Alex Bell, who was Mr Salmond’s head of policy when he was first minister, said the former SNP leader is now set on proving there was a conspiracy from within the party to damage his reputation.
According to Mr Bell, the SNP has been split into “two camps” – with Nicola Sturgeon on one side and Mr Salmond the other.
He claimed there will be a proxy war in the selection battle in Edinburgh Central between Angus Robertson and Joanna Cherry.
The former adviser said the two sides “can only tear each other apart”.
Mr Bell wrote in The Courier: “When your best defence is ‘I’m sleazy but not criminal’, it’s nothing to smile about.
“But the former first minister had a grin barely suppressed as he came out of court an acquitted man.”
He added: “A married, avowedly Christian man is revealed as a creep.”
Mr Salmond was acquitted of 13 charges, including attempted rape and sexual assault, at the High Court in Edinburgh on Monday.
Mr Bell added: “We now have two ‘camps’ set to battle it out over the details.
“On one side we have Nicola Sturgeon, Peter Murrell – chief executive of the SNP and Sturgeon’s husband – along with her special advisers and just about every female MSP.
“On the other, Alex Salmond, some SNP veterans like Alex Neil and Kenny MacAskill, and his current sidekick Campbell Gunn, former political editor of the Sunday Post.
“Their avatars are Angus Robertson for Sturgeon and Joanna Cherry for Salmond, both of whom want the nomination for Edinburgh Central at next year’s Holyrood election. The two camps can only tear each other apart.”