THE decision by the SNP's disciplinary panel yesterday to expel backbench MSP Bill Walker from the party was swift and just.

There can be no place in politics for someone with Walker's track record. Over four decades, from the 1960s to the 1990s, he was accused by three wives of cruelty and abuse.

One wife told this paper she was punched in the face and nearly hospitalised by Walker, while a teenage step-daughter told a court he had turned a saucepan inside-out by striking her with it.

Now that his actions have caught up with him, Walker should accept the SNP's vote to expel him and waive his right to appeal.

More importantly, he should use this moment to remove himself completely from public life.

For despite being kicked out of his party, he is still entitled to remain at Holyrood as an independent MSP for another four years and so collect some £230,000 in salary.

In that regard, his case echoes that of Labour's Eric Joyce, who recently admitted a drunken assault in a Commons bar, but remains an MP because he cannot be forced out of parliament. The examples of Walker and Joyce should make all parties reflect on whether elected politicians should be subject to recall procedures if they break fundamental bonds of trust with electors.

Zero Tolerance, the charity campaigning against domestic abuse, says Walker should do the "honorable thing" and stand down.

He owes it to the people of Dunfermline to quit.