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Nicola Sturgeon expresses ‘huge sadness’ at Alex Salmond leaving SNP

Nicola Sturgeon has expressed her “big disappointment” at Alex Salmond’s resolution to give up the SNP amid allegations of sexual harassment.

The Scottish first minister mentioned her predecessor had been a “pal and mentor for nearly 30 years” however defended her authorities’s resolution to analyze him.

Mr Salmond introduced on Wednesday evening that he was resigning his SNP membership and criticised the way in which the complaints in opposition to him had been dealt with.

He instructed Ms Sturgeon was dealing with “stress from different political events” to droop him and mentioned he would step all the way down to keep away from damaging the SNP.

The Scottish authorities obtained two complaints about Mr Salmond in January, and knowledgeable him of them in March. They’re reported to have been made by two former workers in relation to alleged incidents in 2013.

Mr Salmond has refuted the allegations and mentioned he “completely rejects any suggestion of criminality”. He’s mounting a authorized problem in opposition to the Scottish authorities and, whereas saying his resignation, launched a crowdfunding web page to assist cowl his £50,000 authorized prices. The goal was smashed inside hours.

Responding to information that her predecessor was quitting the SNP, Ms Sturgeon mentioned: “I really feel an enormous disappointment about this complete state of affairs. Alex has been my pal and mentor for nearly 30 years and his contribution to the SNP and the independence motion speaks for itself.

“Whereas the choice to resign has been Alex’s alone, I perceive why he has chosen to separate the present questions he’s dealing with from the day after day enterprise of the SNP and the continued marketing campaign for independence.”

Ms Sturgeon admitted the state of affairs was “extremely troublesome” for the SNP, the complainants and Mr Salmond, however insisted it was proper that the 2 complaints in opposition to Mr Salmond are investigated.

She mentioned: “The actual fact stays that two complaints have been obtained by the Scottish authorities that might not be ignored or swept underneath the carpet. Complaints have to be investigated with out concern or favour, whatever the seniority of the individual concerned.

“I do know celebration members shall be upset by this information, simply as I’m. I additionally know there are lots of questions that may solely be answered within the fullness of time. It’s important that any authorized processes are allowed to take their course.”

The marketing campaign for Scottish independence “is larger than anybody particular person”, she added, and “is extra vital now than ever”.

Alex Salmond says it is with ‘nice reluctance’ he is taking the Scottish authorities to court docket

Mr Salmond, who served as Scottish first minister from 2007 to 2014, has referred to as for an inquiry into how the allegations in opposition to him have been made public.

In a press release saying his exit from the SNP, he mentioned: “I imagine that each one such points have to be handled severely, confidentially and thru a good course of. On this case confidentiality has been damaged drastically to my detriment and in a approach which places at critical threat the anonymity of each complainants.”

He added: “It appears apparent that Nicola feels underneath stress from different political events to droop me from SNP membership, given latest celebration precedents. Individually I’ve at all times thought it a really poor thought to droop any celebration member on the premise of complaints and allegations. Harmless till confirmed responsible is central to our justice.

“Nonetheless, I didn’t come into politics to facilitate opposition assaults on the SNP and, with Parliament returning subsequent week, I’ve tendered my resignation to take away this line of opposition assault.”

Mr Salmond mentioned he believed strikes to droop him would have prompted “substantial inner division” within the SNP, and that he deliberate to reapply for celebration membership “as quickly as I’ve had the chance to clear my title”.

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