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by Louise Wilson
06 February 2024
Drug and alcohol minister resigns

Elena Whitham became drug and alcohol minister in March 2023 | Alamy

Drug and alcohol minister resigns

Elena Whitham has resigned as the drugs and alcohol minister, citing mental health reasons.

The MSP said that a “series of events” over the last year had led to “post-traumatic stress” for which she is receiving treatment.

In her letter to the first minster, she added: “Sadly, after much soul searching, it is apparent to me that I must regrettably resign from my ministerial role so that I am able to look after my wellbeing and ensure my constituents of Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley continue to be represented assiduously.”

Humza Yousaf said he was “greatly saddened” but the news and thanked her for her service.

Whitham was elected to parliament in 2021, taking over the constituency from former health secretary Jeane Freeman.

She entered government in November 2022 following the resignation of Ash Regan as community safety minister.

The MSP was moved to the drugs and alcohol policy brief during the reshuffle after Yousaf’s election as first minister.

She will continue to serve as a backbench MSP.

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