Scotland politics

Midwife row SNP candidate Lyall Duff resigns

A council candidate suspended by the SNP after accusations that he described two midwives as "witches" has resigned from the party.

Lyall Duff, a candidate in North Lanarkshire, was reported to have posted the comments on the internet.

They were said to include a description of two Catholic midwives who refused to carry out abortions as "money-grabbing old witches".

The SNP had described the remarks on Facebook as "totally unacceptable".

A party spokesman said: "Lyall Duff has informed the party that he has resigned his membership of the SNP, which therefore ends the party's disciplinary process.

"While it remains the case that Mr Duff's name cannot legally be removed from the ballot paper, he is not an SNP candidate and we do not support his candidacy in any way."

The comments attributed to Mr Duff included an attack on midwives Mary Doogan, 57, and Concepta Wood, 51, who lost a legal bid against NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde over their refusal to delegate, supervise and support staff taking part in abortions or provide care to patients during the process.

The Facebook comments stated: "The news reckon this case will affect the NHS UK wide, too f***n right it should, sack the money grabbing old witches and make them pay back every penny they earned in disgust doing their career choice."

There was also an attack on RBS and its former chief executive Fred Goodwin.

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