Senior Scottish Councillor Willie Young asked to step down over autism remarks

Aberdeen, Scotland – A dispute has developed between an Aberdeen MSP and a senior city councillor regarding the services provided for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

The conflict between both Willie Young and Mark McDonald over delays in the local government’s autism strategy resulted in inflammatory remarks being posted by the former on social media outlets. On them, Young accused McDonald, whose young son has the disorder, of using his personal family situation to gain political leverage with respect to the issue.

The Labour finance convener went on to say that the Donside MSP’s actions are contradictory as he has been continually “going on” about autism yet had been partly responsible for the closure of a special needs school in 2011. According to Young:

“I worry that because one of his children has autism he is using his power to try to highlight some of the failings he didn’t take when he was councillor.”

McDonald in turn has denounced Young’s claims stating that they are unfair and accused him of “appalling personalisation” of politics before subsequently calling for his resignation. Meanwhile, the Scottish Labour Party has chosen to distance itself entirely from the conflict and has stated that Young is ultimately responsible for commenting on his Twitter posts.

Willie Young tweeted on December 8 an apology on twitter:

‘Sorry if people found my tweet offensive and apologise for any upset that might have caused’

Source: Blair Dingwall on the Press and Journal website: Calls for Aberdeen councillor to stand down following autism remarks