Salmond defends character after questions about past behaviour dominate party launch
Alex Salmond has defended his character, after questions about his past behaviour dominated the launch of his new party.
In a shock announcement on Friday, the former First Minister unveiled plans to return to Holyrood.
He will lead the new Alba party, which plans on standing four candidates in each of Scotland’s eight regional lists.
They aim to win a “super-majority” for independence.
While Salmond was cleared of 13 sexual offences at the High Court last year, he admitted his behaviour had not always been appropriate.
When asked if he was due an apology to any of the women who have complained about him, Salmond said he accepted the outcomes of the two court cases and three inquiries and wanted to move on.
Asked if he thought women would vote for Alba given his admissions in court, he said: "The range of candidates from the Alba party will demonstrate the full measure of our commitment to equality and to the role of women and Scottish society.
“And I think the Alba party's appeal will be substantial, but we'll see over the next six weeks in terms of how people respond to the Alba party's message. We have no compunction about knowing the scale of challenge.
Asked about his character, Salmond said: “In terms of character mattering, that's exactly what elections are about.
"I'm hoping that as I put forward, in a positive way, the case for an independent Scotland, the case for a supermajority in the Scottish Parliament, the contribution I think Alba will make, the list of candidates it will bring forward, the ideas that we have, the contribution we can make to the economic recovery of this country from the pandemic, and then the construction of that new independence platform by a parliament and not just a political party, is a strong argument which people will look to.
"And the way in which we express it, perhaps will contribute to the character judgments you're looking at.”
Salmond was asked if the party would be taking any extra steps to safeguard women who will be working with him.
He said the Alba party's list of candidates would include “some substantial woman candidates”.
“That I think speaks for itself,” he added.