Anti-gay MSP who said gay love isn’t ‘equal’ to straight love resigns seat over wife beating offences
MSP Bill Walker, who is a vocal opponent to gay equality, has resigned from Scottish Parliament after being convicted of a series of domestic abuse offences against his three ex-wives.
More than half of Scotland’s 129 MSPs had backed a motion calling for him to go.
The independent MSP for Dunfermline said a “media onslaught” had made it impossible for him to continue.
In August, Bill Walker was found guilty of 23 charges of assault, and one breach of the peace at several addresses in Edinburgh, Stirling, Midlothian and Alloa. The incidents took place between 1967 and 1995.
Sheriff Katherine Mackie found Walker guilty of all charges at Edinburgh Sheriff Court. She said the evidence brought against him found him to be controlling, domineering, demeaning and belittling towards his three ex-wives.
Russel McPhate made a statement on behalf of the MSP, saying: “Mr Walker is obviously disappointed to be convicted of all the charges today. The verdicts, in particularly the comments of the sheriff, will be very carefully considered.
“In the meantime, he’d like to thank his wife, his family, his colleagues, his staff and his friends, who have supported him throughout this ordeal, which of course has lasted since March last year and is not over yet.
“Because the case has not concluded, it would not be appropriate for Mr Walker to answer any questions or make any further statement today.”
Sentencing has been deferred to 20 September.
Walker, who has since denied being a “bigot”, said of an anti-homophobia logo: “I regarded that as quite intimidating actually because … it reminded me of the pre-war Nazi-type stuff banning things”.
Gay rights campaigners called the remarks offensive and pointed to the fact that gay men and lesbians were persecuted by the Nazis. He later withdrew his comment.
A former SNP member for Dunfermline, a seat he won in 2011, which would automatically go to a by-election if he is jailed for over a year,Walker was kicked out of the SNP following the allegations of abuse.