Scotland’s finance secretary has quit after it was revealed he sent up to 270 private messages to a 16-year-old schoolboy over a period of six months.
Derek Mackay resigned from his senior government role last week after the Scottish Sun broke the story, along with a transcript of the entire six months worth of messages, which were sent through Facebook and Instagram.
Soon after, Nicola Sturgeon confirmed in an address to MSPs that the 42-year-old had been suspended from the Scottish National Party (SNP) while further investigations were carried out.
The transcript shows Mackay inviting the teen to dinner and a rugby event, as well as calling him “really cute”. It also reveals Mackay was aware of the boy’s age.
The Daily Record further noted that Mackay is facing new allegations that he sent dozens of unwanted messages to a married SNP activist over a period of four years.
Shaun Cameron, 25, said he received dozens of unwanted Facebook messages from Mackay, including one asking, “Got any naughty pics?”
Mackay has also been branded a “hypocrite” for backing a campaign to protect teens from online abuse. At the time, Mackay warned that children were at risk from social media that would be “damaging to their education and progress.”
Mackay also supported the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) initiative for Scottish schools, which includes LGBT ideology throughout school curricula.
The Scottish Sun reported that Mackay had retweeted several of TIE’s tweets as he supported their work, but the organisation has since deleted the tweets.
Mackay, a father of two, left his wife in 2013 after announcing he was homosexual.
Mackay said it was the Scottish Parliament debate over same-sex marriage that triggered his decision to split from his wife.
“I had a great family life, but I knew I wanted to fix it,” he said. “I knew I was gay and I knew it had worked but I didn’t think it was fair on everyone else. It was the right thing to do.
“The boys totally understand it. They only had two questions for me when I explained why I was leaving. The first one was, ‘Would they still get to see me as much?’ And the second one was, ‘Do we get two sets of presents at Christmas?’”
Mackay’s oldest son would be about 16-years-old, the same age as the teen he was caught messaging.