Derek Mackay: Scottish finance secretary quits over messages to boy

Scotland’s finance secretary has quit hours before delivering his budget amid reports that he messaged a 16-year-old boy on social media.

The Scottish Sun said that Derek Mackay contacted the schoolboy over a six-month period, and told him that he was “cute”.

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

He also apologised “unreservedly” to the boy and his family.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she did not know about Mr Mackay’s “unacceptable” behaviour until Wednesday evening, and is “not aware of any further allegations” against him.

In a statement to the Scottish Parliament, she confirmed that he has been suspended the SNP while further investigations are carried out.

Police Scotland said it had not received any complaint of criminality, but was “assessing available information from media information. The force also asked for anyone with any information to contact them.

Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw called on Mr Mackay to also stand down from the Scottish Parliament, saying his behaviour could “constitute the grooming of a young individual”.

And Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said Mr Mackay’s actions had been “an abuse of power” and “nothing short of predatory”.

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