Scottish government minister Mark McDonald resigns over 'inappropriate behaviour'

Posted On: 
4th November 2017

A Scottish government minister has resigned after admitting to "inappropriate" behaviour in the past.

Mark McDonald with his wife Louise on the night he was elected an MSP in 2013.
Credit: 
PA Images

Mark McDonald said he apologised if he had "made others uncomfortable or led them to question my intentions".

The precise nature of the allegations against the SNP MSP are unknown, but his resignation comes amid the ongoing sexual harassment scandal sweeping British politics.

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Mr McDonald, who was the childcare and early years minister at Holyrood, said in a statement: "It has been brought to my attention that some of my previous actions have been considered to be inappropriate - where I have believed myself to have been merely humorous or attempting to be friendly, my behaviour might have made others uncomfortable or led them to question my intentions.

"My behaviour is entirely my responsibility and I apologise unreservedly to anyone I have upset or who might have found my behaviour inappropriate.

"In light of my position in government, I believe it would not be appropriate for me to continue to serve in my role in the Scottish government at this time and I have tendered my resignation as a minister.

"I hope that in taking this step neither any particular woman or my family will be the focus of undue and unwarranted scrutiny.

"It has been an honour to serve in the Scottish government and I will continue to serve my constituents in Aberdeen Donside to the best of my ability."

A Scottish government spokesman said: "Mr McDonald tendered his resignation to the First Minister on Saturday.

"The education secretary is responsible for all aspects of the education portfolio including those led by the minister for childcare and early years. The First Minister will appoint a new minister in due course."

Nicola Sturgeon last week called on SNP parliamentarians “in positions of power” to examine their own behaviour after it emerged the party is investigating two allegations of sexual harassment.