An SNP minister who was sworn at by Alex Cole Hamilton has said she is glad he is receiving counselling. 

Maree Todd, who is minister for social care, mental wellbeing and sport, cited  an interview in the Herald on Sunday today with the Scottish Liberal Democrat leader, as she responded to revelations in the article he had been receiving therapy for more two years, paid for by his party, to help address mental health issues he was dealing with.

Mr Cole-Hamilton told interviewer Andrew Leearmonth he needed to see a clinician after suffering “physical symptoms” from the “strain of this job.”

And he added he no longer looks at the responses to his posts on social media. 

READ MORE: Alex Cole-Hamilton: 'I see a counsellor because of abuse'

“I tell my mother not to either,” he said. “I've largely got a fire-and-forget policy on Twitter these days, but it has taken its toll on my mental health. 

“I benefit from a counsellor who gives me help with resilience and coaching. I have had physical symptoms that I've had to get checked out because of this strain of this job.”

Mr Cole-Hamilton was caught on camera mouthing swear words at Ms Todd in February 2021 as she appeared before a parliamentary committee. He later apologised.

Writing on X/Twitter, Ms Todd said today: "I’m actually glad he’s seeking help. I think the way he behaved towards me was disturbing. Disappointing the onslaught of online abuse he unleashed on me wasn’t covered though."




Speaking to BBC Scotland today Mr Cole-Hamiltion said Scotland’s political discourse must be improved to stop politicians facing abuse.

The revelation that the Scottish Lib Dem leader was receiving clinical help came as the Scottish Parliament released the findings of a pilot programme which showed 461 complaints made to police over abuse levelled at just 38 MSPs.

Speaking to the BBC’s Sunday Show before his address to the conference, Mr Cole-Hamilton said: “I think we need to raise the standard of public debate.”

The incident involving Ms Todd, pictured below, happened during a virtual meeting of the equalities and human rights committee in February 2021.

The Herald:

Ms Todd tweeted him after the hearing saying: "No Alex. You do not get away with that.

"It was an appalling way to behave towards a female colleague. You do not get to blame me for your bad behaviour."

As a row over his language broke out, Mr Cole-Hamilton, who was at the time his party's spokesman for health, tweeted that he had lost his temper over the Scottish Government "backsliding on children's rights once again".

He accepted that he had "muttered something under my breath that I shouldn't have", and apologised to the minister.