, FILE - In this Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014 file photo, Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond poses for photographs in Turriff, Scotland. The former leader of Scotland, Alex Salmond, has quit the party he once led while allegations of sexual harassment against him are investigated. Salmond said in a video message Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018 that he was resigning from the Scottish National Party. He denied allegations of harassment, and said "I absolutely reject any suggestion of criminality." (AP Photo/Scott Heppell, file)
30 of August 2018 08:37:27
LONDON (AP) — Scotland's governing Scottish National Party is reeling after the resignation of Alex Salmond, the former leader who built the separatist party into a major political force and took the country to the brink of independence from the United Kingdom.
Salmond quit the party he once led late Wednesday amid an investigation into sexual harassment allegations. Salmond denies the harassment claims from two staffers, and said "I absolutely reject any suggestion of criminality."
He said he was quitting to prevent divisions in the party from worsening.
Salmond also launched a crowdfunding campaign for legal action against the SNP-led Scottish government over the complaints process activated against him. By Thursday he had exceeded his 50,000 pound ($65,000) target.
Current SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon says she feels "huge sadness about this whole situation."