An MSP dropped from a list of new Scottish ministers has issued a second apology over “inappropriate and offensive” language in a blog post.
The First Minister named Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin as minister for further education, higher education and science in her reshuffle on Wednesday.
However, Nicola Sturgeon today said she would not put Ms Martin forward for the appointment until she had reflected on the “ill-advised” post, published in 2007.
In her blog, written before she entered politics, the MSP wrote about “hairy-knuckled, lipstick-wearing transitional laydees” and said college PR staff “froth at the mouth with excitement if anyone in a wheelchair does anything that can be remotely described as an achievement”.
In a statement, Ms Martin said: “I fully accept and understand the decision that the First Minister has taken.
“In a blog I wrote 11 years ago across a range of issues I used language that was inappropriate and offensive.
“I reported comments from other people which have caused offence, and made statements in a way which does not represent my views then or now.
“I deleted this blog some time ago precisely because I accepted that it contained unacceptable content – but I recognise that these posts should never have been published in the first place.
“That is entirely my responsibility and I am deeply sorry.
“When parts of this blog were last raised publicly two years ago I apologised – and I unreservedly apologise today.
“Since my election as MSP for Aberdeenshire East in 2016, I have always campaigned hard for equalities and I will continue to do so.”
“I was not previously aware of all of the comments that I am now aware of.
“I have to say that this content, however ill-advised it may be, does not reflect the views of the person I know in Gillian Martin.
“However the content does merit my further consideration, and I will therefore not ask Parliament to approve this appointment until I have had the chance to reflect further.”
Speaking in the Scottish Parliament, Tory Deputy leader Jackson Carlaw disclosed further comments which Ms Martin allegedly made in her blog.
He said: “This is a reshuffle that has been a year in the making and it should surely have been underpinned by a vetting procedure which is fit for purpose.
“I also came across the fact this morning that she said: ‘American Jews tip OK, but only if you’ve absolutely busted your hump and everything was faultless in the extreme. Often complain about the quality of the food then the small portions.
“‘American blacks don’t tip at all – tip next too nothing. To be avoided.
“‘The waiters also black remember, would do anything to avoid serving a table of blacks or be openly disappointed if allocated to one.
“I’m sorry that is shocking. I can’t make light of that.’”