MSP MARK MCDONALD has announced his decision to resign from the Scottish National Party.
The news follows allegations of inappropriate behaviour.
Mr McDonald stood down in November as minister for childcare and early years after complaints about the MSP’s behaviour.
The SNP then suspended Mr MCDonald after becoming aware of further information about his alleged misconduct.
One of the complaints, reported by the Sunday Post, was from a young woman who claimed she woke up in his hotel bed – with no idea how she got there
In a statement, Mr McDonald admitted that his behaviour towards two individuals ‘fell below the level of professionalism they were entitled to expect of me.’
He continued: “While at no stage was my behaviour in any way physically abusive, and while it was certainly not my intention to cause any upset, discomfort or offence to those concerned, it is clear through the concerns highlighted in the report that I have done so.
“That is something which I deeply regret. I would like to take the opportunity here and now to offer a public and unreserved apology to those individuals for the hurt and offence that I have caused them.
“I was advised that the second complainant, who came forward on 16th November, had expressed that they wished to receive a personal, written apology from me, and I have today sent that apology to them. It is genuine, and heartfelt, and I hope it can go some way to helping to overcome the upset that has been caused.”
Mr McDonald also added that he had enlisted the services of a ‘behaviour coach’.
The statement details Mr McDonald’s intention to return to Holyrood next week to sit as an independent MSP.