An investigation is to take place to decide if Alex Salmond breached the ministerial code as a result of his stance on legal advice over an independent Scotland's future in Europe.
The First Minister announced he had referred the matter to the independent panel of advisers on the Scottish ministerial code. A former senior UK Government civil servant will lead the investigation, with Mr Salmond vowing to accept its findings.
But the Labour politician who demanded the probe has already denounced it as a "smokescreen".
MEP Catherine Stihler had previously submitted a Freedom of Information request to try to ascertain what legal advice, if any, had been given to the Scottish Government. Ministers took the case to the Court of Session to try to prevent the release of any information.
But, on Tuesday, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon revealed the SNP administration had only now commissioned "specific legal advice from our law officers on the position of Scotland within the European Union".
A furious row erupted, with Mr Salmond being branded a "bare-faced liar" after he appeared to suggest such advice had been taken in an earlier television interview with the BBC's Andrew Neil.
After the First Minister's announcement that he was referring the matter to the independent advisers on the Scottish Ministerial Code, Ms Stihler claimed the move was a "smokescreen by Alex Salmond".
Ms Stihler said: "My question wasn't just about the ministerial code, it was about his abuse of power. I wanted to know why he went to court at the taxpayers' expense rather than answer simple questions."
But as the row centres around whether the Scottish Government took advice from law officers, Mr Salmond announced that Sir David Bell, the vice chancellor of Reading University and a former permanent secretary in the UK Government's education department, was being brought in to lead the investigation.
The First Minister pledged: "The findings of the independent advisers will be made public. I will accept them and I hope all members of this chamber will do the same."