A controversial crowdfunder launched by Alex Salmond to help fund his legal challenge against the Scottish Government’s handling of misconduct allegations against him has been halted after raising just over £100,000.
The former Scottish first minister said he was no longer seeking donations after the campaign collected twice the original £50,000 target - £100,007 from 4146 supporters in just three days.
Salmond said: “Many thanks to the thousands of people who have come forward with support. We will now press on with the challenge to the lawfulness of the procedure.
“All funds will be used exclusively to support the judicial review. If we are successful in the Court of Session then there are likely to be substantial surplus funds and, as I have pledged, every penny will then go to good causes in Scotland and beyond.”
Salmond launched the fundraising campaign on Wednesday evening at the same time he dramatically announced he had quit the SNP after 45 years as a member – which included 20 years as leader.
The decision came after Salmond was informed in March of an investigation by the Scottish Govenrment, after two complaints about his behaviour were made in January.
The allegations date back to 2013, when he was still first minister, with Police Scotland having already confirmed details have been passed to the force.
On Friday lawyers at the firm Levy & McRae confirmed a petition for judicial review in the Court of Session has now been served on legal representatives of the Scottish Government.
The Scottish Government pledged to “vigorously defend” its position, and has also said there are “a number of inaccuracies in Mr Salmond’s public statements”.
After Salmond launched his fundraiser, Rhoda Grant, the women’s spokesperson for Scottish Labour, accused him of “dragging Scotland into the gutter”.
She said: “That an independently wealthy man with his celebrity and political power is to raise legal fees through a crowdfunder for a case ultimately linked to sexual harassment is unbelievable.
“It suggests that he is sending a signal to those who have made allegations that he has the upper hand.
“Decent people will rightly be furious that he is to raise money to take the Scottish Government to court. Alex Salmond is abusing his power, and dragging Scotland into the gutter.”