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Former childcare minister vows to change his behaviour

Mark McDonald quit his role in the Scottish Government over 'inappropriate' conduct.

Mark McDonald: Reportedly sent text message to woman that included reference to sex act.
Mark McDonald: Reportedly sent text message to woman that included reference to sex act.

The Scottish Government's former childcare and early years minister has said he is "determined" to change his "inappropriate" behaviour.

Mark McDonald stepped down from his role as allegations over sexual misconduct in politics spread from Westminster to Holyrood.

The SNP has offered the Aberdeen Donside MSP "support" to help change his behaviour, with McDonald confirming he has taken up that offer.

He reportedly quit the Scottish Government because he sent a text message to a woman that included a reference to a sex act.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has already said Mr McDonald's "behaviour was about language not physical conduct".

The SNP leader stressed while it was "right" for him to have left the government he had not used "language that would come in anyway close to being something that would be required to be referred to the police".

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1401531-holyrood-minister-resigns-over-inappropriate-behaviour/ | default

Writing in The Press and Journal newspaper, the married father-of-two made clear he "apologised unreservedly" for his actions.

He said: "There is no question in my mind that in making my apology it was also right for me to resign from my role as a government minister. I need to go further than that, though.

"For my apology to mean anything I must also commit to changing my behaviour and to taking more care in my actions and my language. I am determined to do that."

McDonald added: "I have been offered support through the SNP to help me understand more about the way I behaved, the impact it had upon others and how I can work to ensure my behaviour does change.

"I have accepted that offer of support. As has been said by many others, it is change in behaviour across the board which is the required outcome from this issue."

'Ultimately I will be judged by others on whether I can change my behaviour to meet the very high standards that people rightly demand of their politicians.'
Mark McDonald

The 37-year-old MSP said he would return to Holyrood after a "period of time supporting my family and serving my constituents".

He said it was for the people of Aberdeen Donside to decide if he should continue as an MSP in the next election in 2021.

Mr McDonald said: "While there is clearly a public interest in my behaviour, I would ask that the privacy and welfare of my family, my staff and constituents visiting my constituency office are respected.

"Ultimately I will be judged by others on whether I can change my behaviour to meet the very high standards that people rightly demand of their politicians. I can only ask that I be given that chance."

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