Scotland’s Finance Secretary, Derek Mackay MSP, has resigned from the Scottish Government after reports in The Scottish Sun that he’d been messaging a 16yr old schoolboy for months.
The messages seem to show that Mackay told the boy he was “really cute” and bombarded him from August last year with contacts, including liking pictures of the boy in his sports kit, even messaging him on Christmas Day.
The reports, which show hundreds of messages exchanged between the 42yr old and the boy on Facebook and Instagram, surfaced late last night and by this morning Mr Mackay had resigned, just hours before he was due to deliver Scotland’s budget to Parliament.
The SNP MSP for Renfrewshire North & West released a statement and said he had “behaved foolishly” and took full responsibility for his actions, apologising “unreservedly”.
The boy has told The Sun that some of the messages would “get a bit weird” and that he felt “uneasy” with the senior politician messaging him.
Mr Mackay had asked the boy to come leafleting for him and had offered the youngster an invitation to a rugby reception at Holyrood as his guest. But the boy says he had to make an excuse about his brother being injured to get out of meeting Mackay.
Contacts allegedly started back on August 2nd, 2019 and continued right up to this month, with the first message seemingly initiated by Mackay after seeing the boys profile on social media.
Speaking to the Scottish Sun, the boy said he felt it was “very inappropriate behaviour because it could ruin his career and people could turn against him.”
“I would hope he will have learned from his mistake. I’m nervous what people will think and what his supporters will think. I just wanted to speak out to stop other people getting targeted like that. He’s very high profile so it’s worrying”, he continued.
SNP Leader, Nicola Sturgeon, is expected to make a short statement to Parliament just before her scheduled appearance at First Minister’s Questions at 12noon. The delivery of Scotland’s budget will be fronted by Kate Forbes, the public finance minister, as a replacement for Mr Mackay.
Mackay, who has two children, came out to his then wife, Jennifer, in 2013. He spoke in 2017 of the difficulty and strain this had placed on him.