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Thursday, 11 July, 2002, 12:30 GMT 13:30 UK
Margo attacks 'forces of darkness'
Margo MacDonald
Margo MacDonald will not stand for the SNP in 2003
Scottish National Party maverick Margo MacDonald has confirmed that she has a mild form of Parkinson's Disease.

However, the MSP has blamed the political "forces of darkness" for her medical condition being "leaked" to the media.

"I wanted to make it absolutely plain that I had not chosen to go public and reveal all," she told BBC Scotland.


It had absolutely nothing to do with my job or anything else because I do not taken medication

Margo MacDonald
She said the disease - which she has had for seven years - had not affected how she does her job.

And she stressed that it had not played any part in her decision not to stand as an SNP candidate for the next Scottish Parliament elections.

She announced her move on Tuesday, while adding that she had no immediate plans to resign from the party.

Ms MacDonald was effectively deselected when she was chosen as the party's candidate for the Edinburgh South constituency and placed fifth on the Lothians regional list.

She said she had been left disenchanted by the "tittle tattle" which surrounded the party's selection process.

'Nothing to hide'

News of her medical condition was reported in the Daily Record on Thursday after what Ms MacDonald described as "a leak" to the newspaper.

She told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme that she had confirmed the story because she had "nothing to hide".

However, she stressed: "It had absolutely nothing to do with my job or anything else because I do not take medication."


The SNP was completely unaware of Margo MacDonald's medical condition

SNP spokesman
Asked who would have fed the story to the media, she said: "The forces of darkness that lurk around the corridors of power in the second floor of the parliament headquarters have been saying a number of things about me recently, not all of which have been completely true.

"This was true, but if they had had my well-being in mind I think somebody might have asked me first."

She said her doctor had actually been urging her to stand as an independent candidate at next year's Holyrood elections.

The Lothians MSP said she would make up her mind on that issue once she had decided about "a few things".

However, she stressed that she was "working away as normal" at present.

Private affair

The SNP, meanwhile, has denied being the source of the disclosure.

"The SNP was completely unaware of Margo MacDonald's medical condition," said a spokesman.

"This remains her own private affair and we would not consider it relevant in any way to her ability as a candidate or as an MSP.

"This was demonstrated by her approval as a candidate by the party and her unanimous selection by Edinburgh South to stand in the forthcoming Scottish election."

See also:

09 Jul 02 | Scotland
09 Jul 02 | Scotland
18 Jun 02 | Scotland
18 Jun 02 | Scotland
15 Jun 00 | Scotland
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