Former minister reveals he considered suicide after sacking

McDonald was fired from his post and suspended pending an investigation after he was found to have sent inappropriate texts.

Former Scottish Government minister Mark McDonald has said he contemplated taking his life after he was sacked in 2017.

McDonald was fired from his post as children’s minister and suspended by the SNP pending an investigation after he was found to have sent inappropriate texts to women.

He decided to resign from the party and sit as an independent before opting not to stand for election again at Holyrood next year.

Speaking to the Sunday Times, Mr McDonald said he considered taking his life on two separate occasions – and had even written a note.

He said: “After it had all fallen apart and because I had accepted responsibility for the mistakes that I had made, I felt a version of me was being presented that was completely at odds with reality.

“I felt there was no way back and I realised that people would be prepared to believe anything that was written or said about me.”

The Aberdeen Donside MSP, who announced this week he would not stand for Holyrood again, said the first instance was halted when his now ex-wife woke up earlier than expected and found the note.

On the second occasion, Mr McDonald was taken to the Royal Cornhill Hospital in Aberdeen to be assessed.

Following an investigation, the MSP was suspended from the Scottish Parliament without pay for one month.

He told the newspaper he hoped people would see he is “not the same person” as he was in 2017 but added he hopes there will be a change in how disciplinary cases are dealt with in politics.

“Coming back to Parliament, I felt I was being punished multiple times for the same thing,” he said.

“I haven’t spoken about this before but recent events have made me feel like we can’t carry on with this culture where people can’t atone for their mistakes.

“At Holyrood we talk a good game about these things. I haven’t seen any of it from within the SNP with a few honourable exceptions.”

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