Mcdon­ald hopes for gov­ern­ment come­back

The Scotsman - - News Digest - By TOM PETERKIN Po­lit­i­cal Ed­i­tor

The SNP MSP who quit the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment after be­hav­ing in­ap­pro­pri­ately to­wards a woman hopes to re­turn to Ni­cola Stur­geon’s ad­min­is­tra­tion, it emerged last night.

In his res­ig­na­tion let­ter to the First Min­is­ter, Mark Mcdon­ald said: “I hope that I may be able to serve the gov­ern­ment again in the fu­ture”.

The let­ter was pub­lished last night at the end of a day that saw a se­ries of de­vel­op­ments trig­gered by the sex­ual ha­rass­ment scan­dal grip­ping West­min­ster and Holy­rood.

An in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the han­dling of sleaze al­le­ga­tions was launched by the par­lia­ment’s Stan­dard’s Com­mit­tee while two mem­bers of the all male Scot­tish Par­lia­men­tary Cor­po­rate Body (SPCB) stepped down. Gor­don Macdon­ald of the SNP and Andy Wight­man of the Greens quit to make way for fe­males in or­der to give the five-strong man­age­ment body some gen­der bal­ance. They stood down shortly after Ms Stur­geon said a male dom­i­nated SPCB was “un­ac­cept­able” at First Min­is­ter’s Ques­tions, a ses­sion that

0 Ni­cola Stur­geon with Mark Mcdon­ald’s re­place­ment as child­care min­is­ter Ma­ree Todd also saw her re­ject sug­ges­tions that Mr Mcdon­ald should re­sign as an MSP.

Mean­while, the Holy­rood author­i­ties re­vealed that the sex­ual ha­rass­ment hot­line set up at the be­gin­ning of the week has re­ceived four calls in the first three days since it opened. The con­tents of Mr Mcdon­ald’s let­ter came to light after Ms Stur­geon had been tack­led at Holy­rood by Labour’s Jackie Bail­lie, who sug­gested Mr Mcdon­ald should re­sign as an MSP.

Ms Stur­geon said his in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­iour was to do “with lan­guage and not phys­i­cal con­duct”, and it “was not lan­guage that would come any­where close to re­quir­ing to be re­ferred to the po­lice”.

Mr Mcdon­ald, the MSP for Aberdeen Don­side, re­signed on Satur­day night over a sin­gle text sent to a fe­male. Ms Stur- geon’s spokesman re­fused to dis­close what was in the text. The spokesman said the re­cip­i­ent of the text did not want to take mat­ters fur­ther.

In his let­ter, Mr Mcdon­ald said: “In re­cent days I have been made aware that some of my be­hav­iour, where I thought I was be­ing hu­mor­ous or friendly, has made some women feel un­com­fort­able or led them to ques­tion my in­ten­tions.

“I of­fer an un­re­served apol­ogy for that to any woman con­cerned...i will con­tinue to serve my con­stituency...and I hopetha­ti­may­be­able­toserve the gov­ern­ment again in the fu­ture.”

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