SNP MSPs have been condemned for 'welcoming back' disgraced former minister Mark McDonald to Holyrood despite his record of sexual harassment.

The party’s chief whip, Bill Kidd, is among ten Nationalists who have signed parliamentary motions tabled by the now Independent MSP for Aberdeen Donside.

Also backing two statements about events in Aberdeen was Uddingston & Bellshill MSP Richard Lyle, who knows one of Mr McDonald’s victims.

One SNP insider said: “I’m surprised and disappointed that people seem to be helping Mr McDonald to re-assimilate into the parliament.”

Another suggested Mr Kidd’s endorsement might be the party hierarchy trying to “butter up” Mr McDonald in case his vote was needed in future, adding: “It seems to reflect that we’re a minority administration, but it sends a questionable message.”

Scottish LibDem leader Willie Rennie said: “For SNP members to welcome Mark MacDonald back to the team within hours of him entering the building is pretty shocking. The staff who have borne witness to his past behaviour will be worried at the signal this sends."

Mr Lyle said he had signed the motions because he was sympathetic to the issues they raised - including a Clydesdale bank closure - rather than the person who lodged them.

He said: "I’m supporting local people who are losing a local bank branch. Whether it was Mark McDonald or Joe Bloggs who put up that motion I would still sign it.”

Mr Kidd did not return the Herald’s call.

The SNP last night indicated it was ready to give watchdogs its secret internal investigation into Mr McDonald's misconduct.

The party said it would “fully cooperate” with the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life after opposition parties urged it to hand over the full results of its four-month probe.

Mr McDonald, 37, resigned as childcare minister on November 4 after admitting “inappropriate” behaviour, but downplayed it as a failed attempt at humour.

He later admitted causing a woman “considerable distress and upset" and was suspended from the SNP, then disappeared from the Scottish Parliament.

An SNP-commissioned investigation found he had deliberately and persistently pestered two women with “inappropriate and unwanted” messages, paid them “unwanted attention causing distress”, and was guilty of “exploiting his position of power”.

However last week, after resigning from the party, he returned to Holyrood to sit as an Independent, infuriating former colleagues who wanted him to quit as an MSP.

It prompted SNP MSP James Dornan, one of whose staff members was harassed by Mr McDonald, to demand Holyrood take action to safeguard employees.

In response, parliament’s standards committee ordered the Commissioner to investigate whether Mr McDonald had broken the MSP code of conduct.

A guilty finding could result in him being suspended from parliament or losing a chunk of the £200,000 salary he stands to collect between now and the 2021 Holyrood election.

After the SNP initially stonewalled queries about on it would release its report on Mr McDonald, Labour yesterday wrote to the party demanding transparency.

In a letter to SNP chief executive Peter Murrell, who is married to Nicola Sturgeon, Labour MSP Rhoda Grant said it was unacceptable that the full facts were still unclear.

She said: “The allegations against Mr McDonald must be very serious and proven, yet staff in parliament, Mr McDonald’s constituents and the wider public remain in the dark about his behaviour. I believe it is incumbent on the SNP to share the findings of its investigation, unredacted with the permission of his victims, to aid the probe by the Commissioner."

An SNP spokesperson said: “We welcome the fact that the ethical standards commissioner is to conduct an investigation, and we will fully cooperate in these matters.”

Mr McDonald’s office said it was for individual MSPs to decide which motions they signed.