Scottish childcare minister Mark McDonald resigns over 'inappropriate behaviour'

SNP representative apologises 'unreservedly'

Benjamin Kentish@BenKentish
Saturday 04 November 2017 19:49
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Mark McDonald said he 'apologised unreservedly' if his actions had made anyone uncomfortable
Mark McDonald said he 'apologised unreservedly' if his actions had made anyone uncomfortable

Scotland's childcare minister, Mark McDonald, has resigned from the Scottish government amid allegations of "inappropriate" behaviour.

The Scottish National Party (SNP) MSP stepped down and apologised to anyone "who might have found my behaviour inappropriate".

Mr McDonald, who represents Aberdeen Donside in the Scottish parliament, said in a statement that his actions "may have made others uncomfortable".

He said "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.

Mr McDonald said he hoped his resignation meant "neither any particular woman or my family will be the focus of undue and unwarranted scrutiny".

A Scottish government spokesperson said: "Mark McDonald MSP has left the Scottish Government.

"Mr McDonald tendered his resignation to the First Minister [Nicola Sturgeon] 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."

The resignation comes amid a string of allegations of sexual harassment against UK politicians.

The Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, was forced to resigned earlier in the week and two Labour MPs, Kelvin Hopkins and Clive Lewis, are under investigation. Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke has also been suspended from the party over "serious allegations".

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