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SNP Finance chief resigns following teen text scandal

MYA BOLLAN

Scotland’s Finance Secretary, Derek Mackay has resigned following reports that he sent hundreds of messages to a 16 year old boy.  Mackay been suspended from his party duties just hours before he was due to unveil his 2020-21 budget.

The Scottish Sun reported that 270 messages were sent over a period of 6 months. Messages included Mackay calling the teen ‘cute’ before complimenting the boy on his new haircut. The MSP even invited the 16 year old to attend a rugby event and a dinner as his guest, despite knowing his age. 

Speaking to the Scottish Sun, the teenager said “When he asked me about my haircut and said I was cute, I was grossed out.

“If it had been a joke with a laughing emoji or something that would have been different but this seemed serious.

“That was when I decided to tell my mum.”

The youngest also explained that he became alarmed when the MSP urged him to keep their chats private, asking him to delete some of the messages.

In a statement the 42 year old, who was tipped to be the next First Minister, said “I apologise unreservedly to the individual involved and his family.

“I take full responsibility for my actions. I have behaved foolishly and I am truly sorry.

“I spoke last night with the First Minister and tendered my resignation with immediate effect.”

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, accepted Mr Mackay’s resignation, stating that “Derek has made a significant contribution to government, however he recognises that hiss behaviour has failed to meet the standards required.”

Conversations began on August 2, 2019. Exchanges between the pair were even made on Christmas Day including a message just before midnight that asked “You still up.”

The boy’s mother was also quoted. She said “If I could speak to him, I would ask him ‘Why? Why did you do this?’

“I worry about what would have happened if my so had sent him back a message he wanted to hear.”

The report has spurred comment from a leading child abuse expert who has warned the messages ‘should be probed by cops’ as they show ‘patterns’ of inappropriate behaviour.

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