Alex Salmond, the driving force behind the 2014 push for Scotland’s independence, resigned from the Scottish National Party (SNP) late on Wednesday days after claims of sexual misconduct again him were revealed to the public.
The former first minister of Scotland has also taken legal action against the party he led for two decades.
“I did not come into politics to facilitate opposition attacks on the SNP and, with parliament returning next week, I have tendered my resignation to remove this line of opposition attack,” he said in a statement.
At the same time, Salmond said he was seeking to crowdfund 50,000 pounds ($65,000) to pay his legal fees as he sues the Scottish government for what he views as the mishandling of the complaints against him.
Salmond denies claims
Although the content of the allegations has not been made public, Salmond said: “I refute these two complaints of harassment and I absolutely reject any suggestion of criminality.”
He has also complained that the nature of the claims have not been made clear to him or his legal representation.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been under pressure to suspend Salmond’s membership while the complaints are investigated. She said that she felt a “huge sadness,” over the situation, but understood his decision to step down.
Salmond was the leader of Scotland’s devolved government for seven years before he resigned in 2014, and his relationship with the SNP has become even more strained since he lost his seat in parliament last year.
es/rc (AFP, Reuters)