An Aberdeen councillor has been suspended following a conviction of sexual assualt.

Earlier today, the Standards Commission imposed the maximum suspension of one year on Councillor Alan Donnelly of Aberdeen City Council.

The suspension followed Councillor Donnelly’s conviction in December 2019, for sexual assault.

In March 2020 the Standards Commission had imposed an interim suspension on Cllr Donnelly while the matter was being investigated by the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life.

READ MORE: Standards hearing over Scots sex attack councillor postponed at his request

Ms Ashleigh Dunn, Chair of the Hearing Panel, said: “The requirement for councillors to behave appropriately, and with respect for others, is a fundamental requirement of the Code. A failure to do so can harm others and has the potential to erode not only the reputation of the councillor in question, but also that of their council and the role of an elected member.

“The Panel emphasised that, when acting in a public capacity, councillors are expected to behave in a respectful, courteous and professional manner. The Panel was of the view that individuals should be able to work in an environment where they are not subjected to harassment in any form.”

Commenting on the Standards Commission’s decision, Liberal Democrat Group Leader on Aberdeen City Council Ian Yuill said: “Alan Donnelly’s suspension for a year is a further damming inditement of his disgraceful behaviour in committing a sexually assault.”

He added: “People have already been in touch with me to say they have been shocked to learn that Mr Donnelly will continue to receive full pay whilst he is suspended. There cannot be many other jobs where you can continue to be paid in full whilst suspended for disgraceful and criminal behaviour like that committed by Mr Donnelly.

“If he had any decency, Alan Donnelly would have resigned as a councillor when he was found guilty of sexual assault last December.

“Mr Donnelly’s resignation might also help bring closure for the person all too often overlooked - Mr Donnelly’s victim.”

In a statement, Aberdeen City Council said: "We note the decision of the Standards Commission. Councillor Donnelly will remain suspended for one year.

"While suspended, Councillor Donnelly will continue to receive his full pay. This is a legal requirement and not a decision of the council."