Alex Salmond’s crowdfunding page to cover the costs of a legal case against the Scottish government has reached over £73,000 in 16 hours amid allegations of sexual harassment.
His initial target was £50,000 to seek a judicial review of a new complaints procedure that was introduced by the Scottish government in December.
Mr Salmond's petition has been lodged with the Court of Session in Edinburgh and the total of £73,367 was raised by 2920 donations.
In a video on the crowdfunding page, Mr Salmond said: “I have been a member of the Scottish National Party for 45 years.
“20 of them as party leader and seven as First Minister of Scotland. I hope I have done the party, and the broader cause of independence some service.”
‘I refute these claims’
Mr Salmond resigned from the party on Thursday saying that he denies the claims against him but he was giving up his membership to avoid potential divisions within the party.
He added: “I have written to the National Secretary of the party resigning my membership.
“I read carefully Nicola Sturgeon’s statement on Sunday and watched a TV interview from a couple of days ago.
“She made it clear that the SNP have never received a single complaint about my personal conduct in my many decades of membership.
“The Scottish government have confirmed that they did not have any such complaint before this January which is more than three years after I left office as First Minister.
“I refute these two claims of harassment and I absolutely reject any suggestion of criminality.”
‘I feel a huge sadness’
In a public statement, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “I feel a huge sadness about this whole situation.
“Alex has been my friend and mentor for almost thirty years and his contribution to the SNP and the independence movement speaks for itself.”
She added: “The hard fact remains that two complaints were received by the Scottish government that could not be ignored or swept under the carpet.
“Complaints must be investigated without fear or favour, regardless of the seniority of the person involved.”
TalkRADIO has contacted Alex Salmond for a comment.