Transport minister Kevin Stewart quits on mental health grounds
Transport minister Kevin Stewart has resigned from government, citing mental health reasons.
The Aberdeen Central MSP was appointed to the role by First Minister Humza Yousaf in March.
However, he has now tendered his resignation on health grounds.
In a letter to Yousaf, Stewart wrote: "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 very unwell and I feel that I can no longer put in the hours required to serve both my constituents and hold ministerial office, whilst also trying to maintain good mental health.
"I hope that you understand.
"You can be assured that I will continue to serve my Aberdeen Central constituents to the very best of my ability and will continue to support you and your government from the backbenches."
Stewart previously served as local government, housing and planning minister, and as mental wellbeing and social care minister, both under Nicola Sturgeon.
Responding to Stewart, Yousaf said it had been "a privilege to work alongside you". He wrote: "Many people underestimate the pressure on ministers and I understand why you have felt the need to leave government to concentrate on your mental health and much-loved constituency.
"You leave with a record you can be proud of. As well as taking on transport in the last two months, where you invested in buses and focused on improving the position on ferries, your previous roles have benefitted from your expertise and experience."
Yousaf went on: "I know what a hard-working, loyal and dedicated minister you have been in your eight years of service. That is much valued and appreciated by me and across government and I hope you will feel able to serve again in the future.
"Personally, I will miss you in government and I know you will be of a huge benefit to our backbenches, within our great party, and will remain a source of counsel for many, myself included.
"I wish you all the very best and please know we are here to provide whatever support we can with your mental health.
"Thank you for your service to our country and best wishes."
A successor has yet to be named.