The investigation into allegations of inappropriate behaviour by the former Scottish Government minister Mark McDonald has already taken too long, one of his former colleagues has admitted.
Transport minister Humza Yousaf said the SNP inquiry into Mr McDonald’s behaviour is “perhaps taking more time than it should” when questioned about Mr McDonald on a visit to Aberdeen.
Mr McDonald, the MSP for Aberdeen Donside, has been suspended by the SNP.
He resigned his as childcare minister in November last year after admitting causing a woman “considerable distress”.
After announcing he intended to stay on as an SNP MSP, the party suspended him after new information came to light.
It has been more than 100 days since the Aberdeen Donside MSP has been seen in Holyrood.
Mr Yousaf said he understood that constituents had questions. During his Aberdeen visit, Mr Yousaf told BBC Scotland: “When it comes to questions around Mark McDonald, around whether he’s attending his constituency office, the fact that he’s not been at Holyrood, these are all legitimate questions which people in the North east and Aberdeen understandably are asking.
“All I can say is that an investigation is taking place which obviously should also make sure it’s protecting any alleged victims in this as well. And so therefore perhaps it’s taking more time than it should.”
He added: “I’m not close to the investigation, neither do I have discussions around the investigation.”
The SNP has said the investigation is continuing.
Mr McDonald is understood to have quit after a woman made a complaint about an “inappropriate” text message he had sent, which contained a sexual reference. At the weekend it was reported that a third complaint has been made against Mr McDonald.