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By a Newsnet reporter

The parliamentary private secretary (PPS) to Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont has stepped down from her position after less than a year in the role.

Siobhan McMahon was elected for the first time in 2011 as a list MSP and was asked by Lamont herself to take up the PPS position.

In November last year the Sunday Herald, reported that colleagues had not warmed to her uncompromising style which was described by party sources as "far too aggressive and abrupt."

The newspaper has since accepted the Labour MSPs insistence that she was not removed but took the decision to withdraw after discussions with Johann Lamont.

Writing in her blog, Ms McMahon said: "My decision to withdraw from the post was taken in conjunction with Johann, without rancour, and with her full understanding and support. We both felt that the role was too time consuming, and required me to spend a disproportionate amount of time away from my constituency duties (attention to which is my foremost priority)."

The 27 year old, who previously worked for her Labour MSP father Michael as a paid researcher and had also worked for Labour MP Jim Murphy, has faced claims of an abrupt manner before.

In September Ms McMahon faced claims that she had verbally intimidated a sex industry worker who had visited the Scottish Parliament in order to discuss prostitution with a group of Labour MSPs, including Ms McMahon.

According to the worker, the Labour MSP addressed her in such an aggressive tone it reduced her to tears.

Writing on her blog, the individual said: "I can’t recall exactly what she yelled, because I was so shocked at being shouted at I kind of neglected to pay attention to the details, but it concluded with the observation that ‘the way that democracy works’ is that we can have differing opinions.

The person added: "So then I cried, through a mixture of shock, fury, and, well, sadness I guess.  I kind of hoped the debate would be slightly more elevated.  Silly me."

The Labour MSP, who is a member of Parliament’s Equal Opportunities Committee, was also taken to task in August after appearing to suggest that women should not be allowed to have abortions even if they are raped.

Ms McMahon claimed US President Barack Obama should “hang his head in shame” after he tweeted that everyone should know his opponent Paul Ryan was against all abortions for women, even those who had suffered incest or had been raped.

Claims that his daughter had been removed from her PPS role to Johann Lamont due to her uncompromising manner were denied by her father Michael McMahon, who tweeted: "I see pantomime season has started early. Oh no she didn't!"

Comments  

 
# Al Ghaf 2012-11-05 08:46
If this story is true, can Siobhan be blamed? Aggression often arises when a sense of entitlement crashes on the rocks of reality. Political dynasties are often marked by petulance of the little princes and princesses.
 
 
# Angus 2012-11-05 09:28
At 27 years old, she's not likely to be the most life experianced and her tweet about a US president says it all.
Also a paid researcher who worked for her father, seems to be a common trend in Labour.
 
 
# joe kane 2012-11-05 11:47
By all accounts, Siobhan McMahon also helped Mary Fee MSP sabotage the important Cross Party Group on M.E. a few weeks ago. They refused to abide by a landslide majority vote, which Group Convener Fee herself forced upon the Group. When the vote didn't go their way they resigned. The Group had to be dissolved. A complaint has been made about Fee's behaviour to the relevant authorities.
Someone on Twitter, claiming to work for Fee, later sent aggressive tweets to sick ME patients and advocates for daring to object to these anti-democratic Scottish Labour Party antics.

Scotland has the most progressive policies on ME outside Norway. It has produced pioneering work proving child ME sufferers have blood abnormalities -
bbc.co.uk/.../...

Scotland needs to be more like Norway, rejecting the failed Westminster-Atos-IDS approach to illness that it's is all the heads of patients, which is part of Fee's agenda.
 
 
# Robabody 2012-11-05 13:47
Thank you for this Joe - NNS eds any chance of a follow up on Joe's story re the MS Convener and what the background to all this behaviour was about?
 
 
# theycantbeserious 2012-11-05 11:49
Bullying seems to be at the core of labour and everything it say's and doe's. Is there any evidence ie the work done, by these so called "family member researchers"? and if not why not? Getting money from the public purse must be scrutinised and justified or simply made illegal!
 
 
# proudscot 2012-11-05 12:35
Michael McMahon, the MSP who falsely claimed Dalzell Steel in his constituency had submitted a bid to supply steel for the new Forth Crossing and had been ignored by the Scottish Government. No such bid was ever submitted, and in any case this firm produce steel plate, not suitable for the construction of a bridge, but McMahon has yet to apologise for his deliberate misleading of parliament in this matter. Hardly the best person in the world to deny his daughter was sacked from her position for the reason stated.
 
 
# Piemonteis 2012-11-05 13:40
"The Labour MSP, who is a member of Parliament’s Equal Opportunities Committee, was also taken to task in August after appearing to suggest that women should not be allowed to have abortions even if they are raped."

She did nothing of the sort. It is evident looking at Barack Obama's post that she was criticizing the President's politicizing of such sensitive issues as rape, incest and abortion.

This is worse than any accustion towards SNP ministers that appears in the Unionist press. Horrible "journalism".
 
 
# Robabody 2012-11-05 15:35
Quoting Piemonteis:
This is worse than any accustion towards SNP ministers that appears in the Unionist press. Horrible "journalism".


I would think that accusing Alex Salmond of being like Adolf Hitler , Pol Pot and Stalin - all mass murders of their own and other peoples - is slightly ahead of this article when it comes to vileness.
 
 
# JRTomlin 2012-11-05 16:12
Paul Ryan and other Republicans such as Rep. Todd (a woman who is raped can't get pregnant) Akin need to be called out for their positions. They have a so-called "human life" plank in their platform--Scots would call it a manifesto--which would CRIMINALIZE ALL ABORTIONS including those to save the life of the mother which is supported by Ryan. It was most certainly NOT Barack Obama who politicized the topic and the President is right to keep their EXTREME position at the front of the campaign.

This is nothing but a post by an American right-winger (the 'z' is a giveaway to nationality, my friend) trying to drag the nasty, religious right-wing American politics into a Scottish discussion.

ETA: They have turned American politics into nothing more than sectarian warfare while caring nothing about what any sane person might consider conservative. If Ms. Martin doesn't know this she needs to learn about American politics before she opens her mouth to insert foot.
 
 
# Breeks 2012-11-05 16:32
Don't be too hasty there P, I largely agree with you, but the pro-life issues of abortion are pretty raw in the US, and rape/incest pregnancies is a contentious issue you will often see discussed pretty frankly, often with some pretty graphic images of aborted children to make the point too. Add in some devout christian values, and the subject is controversial with a capital C, (and they don't take prisoners discussing it).

To me, Siobhan's tweet reveals she has no appreciation of the context in which Obama's remarks were made, and she just looks a little foolish.

I don't like the tone of US politics anyway, but I'd think twice before jumping into such a controversial discussion with both feet. In the context of a pro-life/abortion debate, I have no issue with what Obama says, nor it's tone. All it says is be aware that Paul Ryan is an ardent pro lifer.
 
 
# Angus 2012-11-05 16:17
Quoting Piemonteis:
"The Labour MSP, who is a member of Parliament’s Equal Opportunities Committee, was also taken to task in August after appearing to suggest that women should not be allowed to have abortions even if they are raped."

She did nothing of the sort. It is evident looking at Barack Obama's post that she was criticizing the President's politicizing of such sensitive issues as rape, incest and abortion.

This is worse than any accustion towards SNP ministers that appears in the Unionist press. Horrible "journalism".

Why do you think that?
Why has she been sacked by Labour?

If it was an SNP minister, he/she would be in the national press suffering a week of humiliation and witch hunting, so I dont follow you?

Is she a Mit Romeny supporter. His probable more aggressive stance on trident may suit the unionist cause?
 

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