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MSP makes formal complaint over Mark McDonald’s Holyrood return

MSP makes formal complaint over Mark McDonald’s Holyrood return

Monday 12 March 2018

MSP makes formal complaint over Mark McDonald’s Holyrood return

James Dornan said the Scottish Parliament has a duty of care to its staff.

An SNP MSP has lodged a formal complaint over shamed former minister Mark McDonald’s return to Holyrood.

James Dornan said the presence of his ex-party colleague would be a “clear negation” of the duty of care the Scottish Parliament has to its staff.

Mr McDonald quit his ministerial role and the SNP after admitting inappropriate behaviour towards women.

Mark McDonald
Mark McDonald (Andrew Milligan/PA)

However he intends to sit as an independent MSP for Aberdeen Donside, and is due to return to the Parliament on Tuesday.

In a letter to the Standards Committee, Mr Dornan said: “In my view having Mr McDonald in the same workplace as his victims would be a clear negation of the duty of care that the Parliament has to all its members of staff.”

The SNP MSP for Glasgow Cathcart said action must be taken to ensure staff members’ safety and wellbeing.

“I look forward to your committee giving this matter speedy and serious consideration, and would appreciate a timely response on this pressing matter,” he added.

James Dornan
James Dornan (Scottish Parliament/PA)

Pressure has been mounting on Mr McDonald to resign his seat after he quit his party and apologised last week.

An internal investigation for the SNP into allegations made by three women identified “persistent” behaviour including inappropriate and unwanted text messages, unwanted attention and exploiting his position of power.

The married father-of-two had already resigned as childcare minister when the allegations first emerged in November.

First Minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon – alongside several MSPs and MPs – has urged him to leave Holyrood.

Scottish Labour’s Rhoda Grant said his behaviour “has clearly been unacceptable and he should stand down”.

However Mr McDonald has insisted his return is “morally justified”.

He told Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme: “Morally I can justify it because, as I have said, my approach to this has been to own the mistakes that I have made but to demonstrate that I have learned from them and that I am capable of changing as a result of those.

“I am asking people to afford me that opportunity, and I hope that people will do that.

“I accept that many relationships are going to have to be rebuilt – some people will want nothing to do with me and I have to regretfully accept that, but there are some people who I think will want to offer me that opportunity to demonstrate that I’ve learned from this and that I’ve changed.”

A Scottish Parliament spokeswoman added: “We can confirm that the Convener of the SPPA committee has received a letter from Mr Dornan.

“It will now be for the Committee to decide how its wishes to proceed when it meets on Thursday.”

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