FORMER First Minister and SNP leader Alex Salmond has resigned from the party.

He has released a video message titled "Salmond puts Scottish independence first" explaining his decision.

It comes amid an internal investigation by the Scottish Government into sexual harassment allegations made against Salmond, which he has strenuously denied.

He is taking the Scottish Government to court over its handling of the investigation.

In a video message posted on Twitter and YouTube, Salmond explains he was seeking to avoid a party split, and hopes to rejoin the party "as soon as I have had the opportunity to clear my name".

You can read a transcript of the video by clicking here, and our full story by clicking here.

Below is the video released by Salmond: