A fake press release trying to "out" a married minister in the Scottish Executive as a homosexual is being investigated by police as a possible breach of government communication systems.
The hoax message, designed to look like an official release from the executive, was sent to the media on Monday. It claimed to be a statement from Malcolm Chisholm, the Communities minister, saying he wanted to end "speculation" about his sexuality and he was "gay and in love".
The 279-word message purported to have been issued to the media at the request of Mr Chisholm. "Happiness is something we all strive for in this world," it read. "Happiness within ourselves, confidence in who we are and comfort in our own skin. For years I, myself have been in pursuit of happiness and have found a degree of comfort in my family and work I have been charged to carry out for the people of Scotland. But there was always something missing from my life. I am aware of much speculation in media circles, and even amongst my own fellow MSPs regarding my sexuality. But I would today like to shake off the shackles that have bound me and announce to the world that I am gay and I'm in love.
"I will not reveal the identity of my lover, but my wife and children understand my homosexual needs after long discussions.
The Scottish Executive immediately alerted editors and nothing was broadcast or published. Mr Chisholm, who is married and has three children, called the release "rubbish" but refused to guess who might be behind it."In politics you make enemies," he said.
There has never been such speculation about Mr Chisholm's private life, and it is unclear why anybody should single him out.
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