North-east minister stands down from Scottish Government for “inappropriate” behaviour

A north-east politician has resigned from the Scottish Government over “behaviour” which “might have made others uncomfortable.”

Mark McDonald was serving as the Minister for Childcare and Early Years but has now stood down from the role.

The former councillor won a seat in the Scottish Parliamentary elections in 2011 unexpectedly by taking a list seat in the north-east region despite the SNP winning every constituency in the area.

He resigned from the role to fight the Aberdeen North and Donside by-election in 2013 which he won and last year he was reelected with the largest constituency majority in Scotland.

But now in the wake of numerous politicians being reported for misdemeanours he has stood down from his role.

The SNP launched an investigation into this on Monday.

He 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.”