An ex-minister who lost his government post after sending inappropriate text messages to a woman is set to be asked to give evidence to MSPs investigating the mishandling of sexual harassment complaints against Alex Salmond.
Former SNP MSP Mark McDonald was “thrown under a bus” to justify the creation of a Scottish Government policy used to investigate the former First Minister, sources close to him claimed recently.
Members of the Holyrood committee want to call Mr McDonald, who sits as an independent MSP.
On Friday deputy first minister John Swinney refused to allow two government witnesses to give evidence to the committee on Tuesday claiming it could create an unacceptable risk of potential identification of complainers in the case against Mr Salmond.
The committee now has no witnesses to call on Tuesday and will meet in private instead.
Committee member and Lib Dem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “The timeline of events and Mark McDonald’s resignation, coupled with the suggestion that this may be linked to the Scottish Government approach to handling harassment complaints, makes him a material witness for our committee.
“There is a suggestion that he has things to tell us. Right now we are not getting a great deal from government, so we might as well use our time to good effect and ascertain whether he has anything useful to tell us.”
The Scottish Government’s permanent secretary Leslie Evans has denied to the committee that the harassment policy was designed for use against Mr Salmond.
Mr McDonald declined to comment.
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