An Aberdeenshire councillor was taken to hospital by ambulance after collapsing at the local authority’s HQ.
Stephen Smith – a former key member of First Minister Alex Salmond’s backroom team – became unwell near the end of a lengthy meeting.
Paramedics were called to the council chamber at Woodhill House in Aberdeen and treated the SNP councillor at the scene before he was taken to hospital.
It is understood he was conscious and able to talk to the ambulance crew.
Mr Smith – who is married to Banff and Buchan MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford – has served as a councillor since 2007.
It is understood he was still being treated at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary last night but an NHS Grampian spokeswoman declined to give any information about his condition.
Mr Smith was taken ill more than three hours into yesterday’s full Aberdeenshire Council meeting.
Earlier, members had observed a moment’s silence to mark the death of Conservative councillor for the Troup ward John Duncan, who died earlier this month.
Last night, Mr Smith’s fellow SNP councillor Jim Ingram, who represents Central Buchan, said: “Stephen collapsed just towards the end of the session.
“He first collapsed in his seat and the ambulance crew treated him on the floor. But he was still able to speak to people.
“The bulk of councillors left to give him some privacy and let the paramedics do their work.”
Councillor Ingram, who also sits on the local authority’s Buchan area committee with Mr Smith and campaigned alongside him in the run-up to last week’s independence referendum, added: “He’s been overdoing it for quite a while and perhaps it was exhaustion.”
An Aberdeenshire Council spokeswoman said: “I can confirm that Councillor Stephen Smith collapsed and that an ambulance was called.”
A spokeswoman for the Scottish Ambulance Service said paramedics were called at 1:15pm.
Last night a spokesman for Mr Smith’s wife said the family did not want to comment.
Councillor Smith was elected as the SNP representative for Peterhead South and Cruden in 2007, and then again in 2012.
He started working in SNP leader Alex Salmond’s constituency office in Peterhead’s Maiden Street in 1996, and was office manager for a spell.
He married Dr Whiteford in September 2010.
The holds the Banff and Buchan Westminster seat once occupied by Mr Salmond, who is currently MSP for East Aberdeenshire and announced after last week’s No vote in the referendum that he would be stepping down as both first minister and SNP leader.
His deputy Nicola Sturgeon is hot favourite to succeed him.
Many of the staff from Mr Salmond’s former Maiden Street office in Peterhead – which closed in September 2011 – have risen through the party ranks.
Former office manager Richard Lochhead is Scotland’s Rural Affairs Secretary, and his predecessor, Peter Murrell, is now the SNP’s chief executive.