Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said there are â€œserious questions about the appropriatenessâ€ of Alex Salmondâ€™s political comeback, after he announced the creation of a new pro-independence party that will compete with the Scottish National Party (SNP) he led for 20 years.
Sturgeon said in an interview with the Scotsman newspaper that Salmondâ€™s â€œegoâ€ is stopping him doing the right thing â€” â€œleaving public stage.â€
The SNP leader also said that although Salmond was cleared last year of sexually assaulting nine women while he was Scotlandâ€™s first minister, â€œeven if I just base this on what he told me, I know he didnâ€™t always behave appropriately towards women, and he hasnâ€™t shown in public a single sign of reflecting on that.â€
â€œI suppose I harboured a hope that was different privately, but todayâ€™s antics shatter that hope,â€ she added.
Salmond â€” who left the Scottish parliament in 2016 â€” has been entangled in a public feud with his Sturgeon over her governmentâ€™s handling of harassment complaints made against him.
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On Tuesday and Wednesday, the release of two separate inquiries into the affair cleared Sturgeon ofÂ breaking the ministerial codeÂ but alsoÂ criticized her governmentâ€™sÂ conduct. Salmond has said he intends to move on from the issue, but has vowed fresh legal action against the Scottish government.
Speaking at a press conference Friday, Salmond said that â€œstrategic aimsâ€ of his new party, called Alba, â€œare clear and unambiguous â€” to achieve a successful, socially just and environmentally responsible independent country.â€