A SCOTTISH Government minister who quit after admitting “inappropriate” behaviour towards a woman is planning a comeback, his resignation letter suggests.

Mark McDonald MSP wrote that he hoped he “may be able to serve the government again in the future” in his exchange with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

She replied: “I know you have been very personally committed to the role you have held and that the decision to leave government is a very difficult one.

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“I have no doubt you will continue to make a valuable contribution in parliament and to serve your constituents well.”

Mr McDonald, who represents Aberdeen Donside, is understood to have sent a suggestive text to a woman containing a reference to a sex act.

His hint at a return to government was missing from the resignation statement he released when he quit at the weekend.

Mr McDonald’s letter to Ms Sturgeon also said he had been made aware some of his behaviour “has made some women feel uncomfortable or led them to question my intentions”. His public statement said this “might” have been the case.

The Government released the MSP’s resignation letter after requests from the media.

A Labour source said: “The fact that Mark McDonald is already planning his comeback suggests he isn’t taking responsibility for his actions.

"After an apology that went down like a lead balloon and a resignation shrouded in secrecy this again does little to reassure women that the unacceptable behaviour of men is being properly challenged.”

It comes as Holyrood announced it would launch an inquiry into the rules governing complaints of sexual harassment.

MSPs on the Scottish Parliament’s Standards Committee will examine how it deals with allegations of sexual misconduct on the back of the ongoing scandal engulfing politics.

They will look at whether Holyrood’s code of conduct for elected members is fit for purpose when it comes to levelling complaints against MSPs.

The Scottish Parliament said a special hotline set up on the back of a wave of sexual harassment allegations has already fielded four calls since Monday.

Meanwhile, two male MSPs announced they will quit a key Holyrood body just days after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon declared it "unacceptable" that there were no women members.

Clare Adamson, convenor of the Standards Committee, said its review would “take stock of our culture, processes and rules”.

She said: “Our inquiry will want to hear from equalities groups in Scotland, employment law experts and also from trade unions.

“It is important we also look to other legislatures with experience in this regard such as Iceland.

“The committee will want to consider carefully the precise remit of the inquiry and the witnesses it wants to hear from.”

Tory MSP Alexander Stewart said holding an inquiry was “vitally important”.

He said: "We have to show strength, we have to show confidence within the parliament ourselves and this committee has a role to play within that process so that we can give that impression to those individuals out there who have concerns and want to see the best is being done to protect individuals and give them the opportunity to come forward."

SNP backbencher Gordon Macdonald said he would stand down from the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body for health reasons – with party bosses confirming that his place will be filled by a female MSP.

Scottish Green MSP Andy Wightman also announced his intention to step aside from the all-male board.

He said: “Since expressing my concerns last year, it's disappointing that nothing has changed, and in light of ongoing concerns around inappropriate behaviour towards women who work in parliament it is beyond argument that the situation is no longer tenable.”

Elsewhere, Labour MSP Daniel Johnson faced criticism after raising the role of alcohol in allegations of sexual harassment – and questioning whether the Scottish Parliament needed to have a bar.

Female politicians said his concerns were a “distraction” when the real issue was “abuse of power”.

An anonymous survey will be sent out to everyone who works “for and in the parliament” – including MSPs, their staff and parliamentary employees – by the end of this month to ask them about their experiences of sexual harassment.