After announcing his resignation as Scottish Transport Minister citing mental health reasons, Kevin Stewart last night said his decision was not linked to the ongoing CalMac ferry chaos.
Responding to a message from Stòras Uibhist chair, Mary Scholler, the ex-Minister, stated: “Mary, thank you for your kind words contrary to some of the myths that are being peddled. It was not trying to fix the ferry situation that led to my resignation.
“I enjoyed my robust but fair meetings with Uist folk, and I do hope that you get LOTI back soon. Best wishes to you all.”
His comments came after Mary Scholler wished the Aberdeen Central MP a speedy recovery after tendering his resignation to First Minister Humza Yousaf after less than three months in the post of Transport Minister.
Following his resignation announcement yesterday, Mary Scholler said: “In the last few weeks, I have had two Zoom meetings and one face-to-face meeting with Kevin Stewart as well as exchanging many emails with him and his staff.
“Whilst we disagreed on many things about the impact of ferry cancellations and the way forward for our community, I am sorry to read he has had to resign for health reasons.
“On behalf of everyone at Stòras, I wish him a speedy recovery.
“I will be writing to the First Minster urging him to appoint a successor quickly and for that person to have ferries, and specifically the current Lochboisdale cancellation, at the very top of their priority list. This is an opportunity for the new minister, whoever they may be, to make a real difference from Day 1, and I urge them to do just that and fix this mess once and for all.”
Yesterday, Kevin Stewart wrote to the First Minister saying that it was with a heavy heart he had to resign.
It had been “the greatest honour” of his life to serve in three Ministerial roles under Nicola Sturgeon and Humza Yousaf.
He revealed: “Since last October, I have had bouts of poor mental health, with a low ebb in early December of last year. Over the last week or so, I have once again been feeling unwell, and I feel that I can no longer put in the horse required to serve both my constituents and hold ministerial office whilst also trying to maintain good mental health.”
The SNP MP added that he would continue to serve his Aberdeen Central constituents and support the First Minister and his government from the backbenches.