Alex Salmond, the former first minister of Scotland who took the country to the brink of independence in 2014, has strongly denied two accusations of sexual misconduct against him—and is taking the Scottish government to court over how it’s handled the claims. Salmond, one of Britain’s most recognizable politicians, dismissed the allegations as “patently ridiculous” and has taken legal action against the administration he used to lead to challenge the complaints procedure activated against him. The allegations have caused a huge rift at the top of Scotland’s ruling establishment. Current First Minister Nicola Sturgeon—Salmond’s former deputy who he mentored through her career—stood by her government’s actions and said the allegations “could not be ignored or swept under the carpet.” Salmond, still a talismanic figure in the ruling pro-independence Scottish National Party, quit as first minister after Scotland voted to remain in the U.K. in 2014.
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