Tory MSP: SNP resignation suggests ‘witch-hunt’ is going on

Mark McDonald resigned as a minister, Picture: John Devlin
Mark McDonald resigned as a minister, Picture: John Devlin
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A Scottish Conservative MSP has spoken of a ‘witch hunt’ going on in politics following the resignation of an SNP minister.

Peter Chapman, a list member for north-east Scotland, spoke out following the resignation of Mark McDonald as minister for childcare and early years.

Tory MSP Peter Chapman

Tory MSP Peter Chapman

“There is something of a witch-hunt going on right now. It could be something fairly minor to something far more serious,” he told the Evening Express.

“Our system is based upon being innocent until proven guilty.”

Mr McDonald’s resignation was announced on Saturday. In a statement, he admitted his behaviour may have made others uncomfortable but said he would remain as the MSP for Aberdeen Donside.

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Formerly regarded as one of the SNP’s rising stars, Mr McDonald issued an unreserved apology to those he may have upset.

His said: “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.”

Constituents have since launched an online petition calling on the MSP to resign his seat.

But SNP insiders have played down the seriousness of the “inappropriate” behaviour that forced his apology, with the Daily Record reporting that Mr McDonald made one comment to a woman which was intended as humour but caused offence.

Party sources insisted there was nothing physical and the incident was not criminal in nature.