SCOTTISH councillors who referred to a former Tory colleague as the authority’s “resident sex offender” did not breach the code of conduct, the Standards Commission has ruled.

LibDem councillors Steve Delaney and Ian Yuill made the comment about Alan Donnelly, who was placed on the sex offenders’ register and suspended from Aberdeen Council for a year. He was also kicked out of the Conservative party. 

In the first meeting after his return from suspension, Donnelly seconded a budget proposal put forward by Yuill - although Delaney had intended to do so.

The “unwelcome” intervention was labelled a publicity stunt by the LibDems, with both Delaney and Yuill branding Donnelly “our resident sex offender” in the ruckus that followed.

The comments were alleged to have breached rules saying that councillors have to treat each other with respect and courtesy.

Solicitor Linda Beedie, for both LibDem councillors, argued their comments were "factual" and delivered in a political context.

She said the pair had aimed to distance themselves from association with Donnelly.

The Standards Commission panel accepted the reasoning and said a breach was not found. A full written ruling is expected within five working days.

Panel chair Tricia Stewart said the LibDems’ conduct was “not sufficiently offensive, polemical or gratuitous”, according to the Press and Journal.

Donnelly initially denied kissing and touching a man working at an event in the city but was found guilty last year.

He received full pay during his suspension, and The National revealed that he had been taking multiple holidays abroad during that time.