Shamed Aberdeen Donside politician Mark McDonald has been moved from Holyrood’s basement to an office next to other MSPs and staff.
The former early years minister has relocated to the third floor of the parliament’s members block, near former SNP colleagues and some Conservative MSPs.
Mr McDonald was temporarily moved to a room in the building’s basement when he returned to Holyrood last month amid a storm of controversy over harassment allegations.
SNP MSPs had reportedly been adamant that it was “not an option” for Mr McDonald to have an office on the same floor as the party, after he admitted causing “hurt and offence” to two women who complained about his conduct.
But parliamentary authorities said the “changes have been carried out in consultation with the political parties occupying the nearby offices and have also been designed with other building users in mind”.
The room, which was previously occupied by SNP Glasgow Anniesland MSP Bill Kidd, will be shared by Mr McDonald, who now sits as an independent, and his member of staff.
“We can confirm his move into the members block took place last week, during the Easter recess,” a spokesman for the parliament told the Press and Journal yesterday.
SNP MSPs have offices on the third, fourth and fifth floors of the block.
Before his resignation from the government in November, Mr McDonald’s office had been on the fourth floor.
Holyrood’s standards committee last month referred a complaint about Mr McDonald to the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life for investigation.
The SNP’s James Dornan had lodged a formal complaint, claiming that allowing Mr McDonald to come back to parliament was putting the safety of a staff member in jeopardy.
In his letter, the Glasgow MSP said that Mr McDonald had repeatedly sent inappropriate messages to a member of his staff, that she had to be escorted from parliament for her protection, and that the alleged harassment contributed to the woman having a stroke.
Mr McDonald, who denied that he waited at an exit for the woman, said when he returned to Holyrood that he intended to “keep my head down and do the job that I was elected to do”.