'I behaved foolishly'

Mackay suspended from party over messages to boy, 16

Derek Mackay

Derek Mackay: under pressure (pic: Terry Murden)

Pressure was mounting on former Finance Secretary Derek Mackay to resign his seat after he was suspended from the party over newspaper allegations about his private life.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, facing a second sex scandal in her party following the lurid allegations over her predecessor Alex Salmond, told MSPs that Mr Mackay had informed her of the allegations on Wednesday night and she decided that his remaining in government “was not an option”.

Opposition MSPs, led by Labour leader Richard Leonard, said Mr Mackay should now leave the parliament.

The Scottish Sun reported that the 42-year-old minister and prospective FM has been bombarding a 16-year-old boy with messages on social media.

Mr Mackay, whose budget presentation was handed to Public Finance minister Kate Forbes, is alleged to have contacted the boy through Instagram and Facebook over a six-month period, inviting him to dinner and to attend a rugby event.

The newspaper published a list of conversations involving Mr Mackay and the boy. In one of about 270 posts the minister is said to have described the boy as “cute”. The boy tells Mr Mackay “not to try anything”.

The boy’s mother called for Mr Mackay to be removed from office.

Mr Mackay, confirming he had resigned, said he had “behaved foolishly” and took full responsibility for his actions.

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