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Wednesday, 08 November 2017

Highlands MSP Maree Todd to replace Mark McDonald as minister for childcare

Written by The Press Association

Highlands and Islands MSP Maree Todd will be appointed as the new minister for childcare and early years following the resignation of Mark McDonald over "inappropriate'' behaviour.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced her intention to promote Ms Todd days after Mr McDonald stepped down from the role with an apology to those he might have upset.

The MSP for Aberdeen Donside said previous behaviour he had thought ''humorous or attempting to be friendly'' may have made others uncomfortable as he tendered his resignation on Saturday.

Ms Todd, a former pharmacist who grew up in the West Highlands and worked in NHS Highland for 20 years, will begin to undertake some ministerial duties immediately, s ubject to approval by the Parliament and the Queen.

Ms Sturgeon said: "I am really pleased that Maree has agreed to take up the post of Minister for Childcare and Early Years.

"Improving the life chances of children and young people is at the heart of this Government's agenda, so this is a crucial post. We want to make Scotland the best place in the world to grow up and are taking forward a range of actions to achieve this.

"The importance of early years development simply cannot be overstated, which is why my government is putting so much emphasis on doing all we can to ensure youngsters across Scotland can reach their full potential.

"I know that Maree is passionate about this work and I look forward to seeing her lead this agenda."

Ms Todd said: "I am honoured to be asked to carry out this important role. The early years are so crucial in shaping Scotland's next generation.

"A lot of great work has already been done and I am really looking forward to continuing to take forward policies like the Baby Box, the commitment to almost doubling entitlement to free early learning and childcare hours and leading celebrations for the Year of Young People 2018.

"I am relishing getting started and helping make a difference to the lives of all children in Scotland."

Parliament is expected to debate the motion on the appointment of Ms Todd on Wednesday.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2017, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) SNP.