A north-east doctor struck off for having an affair with a vulnerable patient will retain his post as a director of a Highland League football club.
Huntly doctor Gordon Carter was found guilty of misconduct by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) earlier this week – which said it had no option but to take the measure.
Mr Carter – vice-chairman of Huntly FC and former club doctor – became involved with the patient whilst working at the Bydand Medical Group in the Aberdeenshire village.
He had initially told the woman he could not date her, before initiating their first kiss and entering into an eight-month “cloak and dagger” relationship.
When the allegations surfaced, more than 1,600 locals from Huntly and the surrounding area came to Mr Carter’s support and called for him to retain his post – even starting a petition backing him.
And yesterday it was revealed that former First Minister and Gordon MP, Alex Salmond, at one point wrote to the MPTS panel asking them to consider the strength of feeling toward Mr Carter within his community.
The watchdog’s disciplinary panel had heard that Mr Carter, of Insch, had an “exceptional reputation”, but found him guilty of a “serious breach of trust”.
Mr Carter served as Huntly FC’s club doctor for 25 years before stepping up to the vice-chairman role two-and-a-half years ago.
Yesterday, chairman of the Highland League side, George Clark, said Mr Carter would remain in his post on the club’s board of directors.
He added: “At this point in time his position is he is a director of Huntly Football Club and he remains so until further notice. We see no reason why that would change.
“I am personally very disappointed at the outcome and I am not speaking from a football club point of view.”
He added that the club was “well covered” going forward in terms of employing a club doctor.
A spokesman for SNP MP Mr Salmond said: “A number of constituents from Huntly contacted Mr Salmond following press coverage of Dr Carter’s hearing.
“It was incumbent upon him as the member of parliament to relay to the General Medical Council the strength of feeling in the local community, which was heavily in support of Dr Carter on the basis that they did not want to lose a fine physician.”