Scot­land’s ex-first min­is­ter quits SNP

The Nation - - WORLD -

ALEX SAL­MOND, the for­mer na­tion­al­ist leader who took Scot­land to the brink of in­de­pen­dence in 2014, has re­signed from the Scot­tish Na­tional Party (SNP) amid sex­ual mis­con­duct ac­cu­sa­tions.

The move comes af­ter it emerged last week that two com­plaints were raised in Jan­uary against the for­mer first min­is­ter al­leg­ing sex­ual ha­rass­ment while he was in of­fice in 2013.

He has fiercely de­nied the claims and is tak­ing court ac­tion against the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment to con­test the com­plaints process ac­ti­vated against him.

But in a video mes­sage posted on so­cial me­dia on Wed­nes­day evening Sal­mond an­nounced he would quit the SNP to pre­vent “sub­stan­tial in­ter­nal divi­sion” and at­tacks from ri­val po­lit­i­cal par­ties.

“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. “Most of all I am con­scious that if the party felt forced into sus­pend­ing me it would cause sub­stan­tial in­ter­nal divi­sion.”

Po­lice have been asked to in­ves­ti­gate al­le­ga­tions he sex­u­ally as­saulted two staff mem­bers at the first min­is­ter’s of­fi­cial res­i­dence at Bute House in Ed­in­burgh, ac­cord­ing to re­ports last week in the Dai­lyRecord news­pa­per.-AFP

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