Scottish transport minister Kevin Stewart resigns citing 'bouts of poor mental health'
Mr Stewart, appointed to the role by Humza Yousaf following the First Minister’s victory in the SNP leadership contest earlier this year, had previously served as social care minister between 2021 and this year, and as local government minister between 2016 and 2021 under Nicola Sturgeon.
In his resignation letter to the First Minister, the MSP for Aberdeen Central cited “bouts of poor mental health” since early December last year. He said his mental health was impacting his ability to continue as a minister.
Mr Stewart said: “It has been the greatest honour of my life to serve the people of Scotland in three ministerial positions under the leadership of Nicola Sturgeon and yourself and I do hope that I have made a positive difference for our people and our country.
"Since last October I have had bouts of poor mental health, with a low ebb in early December of last year.
"Over the last week or so I have once again been feeling unwell and I feel that I can no longer put in the hours required to serve both my constituents and hold ministerial office, whilst also trying to maintain good mental health. I do hope that you understand.”
Mr Stewart’s role involved responding to issues with Scotland’s struggling ferry services and the grounding of the MV Pentalina earlier this year. As social care minister, he led on the development of the National Care Service, another highly controversial subject.
In his response, the First Minister said Mr Stewart left a “record you can be proud of”, adding it was a “privilege” to work alongside him on the same portfolio while Mr Yousaf was health minister.
He said: “I also know you were a huge and valued help to many ministers across government through the pandemic and that solidarity and support was deeply felt.
“I know what a hard-working, loyal and dedicated minister you have been in your eight years of service. That is much valued and appreciated by me and across government, and I hope you will feel able to serve again in the future.
“Personally, I will miss you in government and I know you will be of huge benefit to our backbenches, within our great party, and will remain a source of counsel for many, myself included. I wish you all the very best and please know we are here to provide whatever support we can with your mental health.”
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