Scottish childcare minister Mark McDonald has resigned over allegations about his private life.
The MSP for Aberdeen Donside apologised “unreservedly to anyone I have upset or who might have found my behaviour inappropriate”.
He said he was standing down as minister as a result.
In a statement, he said: “Some of my previous actions have been considered to be inappropriate – where I have believed myself to have been merely humorous or attempting to be friendly, my behaviour might have made others uncomfortable or led them to question my intentions.
“My behaviour is entirely my responsibility and I apologise unreservedly to anyone I have upset or who might have found my behaviour inappropriate.
“In light of my position in government, I believe it would not be appropriate for me to continue to serve in my role in the Scottish Government at this time and I have tendered my resignation as a minister.
“I hope that in taking this step neither any particular woman or my family will be the focus of undue and unwarranted scrutiny.
“It has been an honour to serve in the Scottish Government and I will continue to serve my constituents in Aberdeen Donside to the best of my ability.”
A Government spokesman said: “Mark McDonald MSP has left the Scottish Government.
“Mr McDonald tendered his resignation to the First Minister on Saturday.
“The Education Secretary is responsible for all aspects of the education portfolio including those led by the minister for childcare and early years. The First Minister will appoint a new minister in due course.”