Reuters – Former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond said on Wednesday (August 29) he has resigned from the Scottish National Party, which he led for two decades, days after allegations of sexual misconduct became publicly known.
Salmond has denied the allegations and taken legal action against the SNP administration he once ran over the way it has handled the complaints against him.
The driving force behind Scotland’s 2014 independence referendum and still a popular figure in the country, Salmond said he was taking the action to protect the SNP from its opponents and avoid any internal division were he to have been suspended from the party.
Salmond said he would reapply to the party if he wins his court action. At the same time he launched a crowd-funding appeal to raise 50,000 pounds ($65,000) to help pay his legal costs against the Scottish government over its handling of the misconduct complaints against him.
The Scottish government said last week two allegations of misconduct against Salmond were filed in January of this year. Salmond said he rejects any suggestion of criminality.
Salmond, who headed the devolved Scottish government for seven years until 2014, is credited with helping to push support for Scottish independence from the United Kingdom to record levels during the referendum campaign.
Scots, however, voted 55-45 percent in favour of staying in the UK.